) accounted for a fifth of homicides and gang killings accounted for one twentieth. About a third were of unknown motive and the other 10% were miscellaneous motives (Best n.d.).
One third of all victims know their attacker well enough to get into an argument with them. Felonies, gang related deaths, and other unknown motives make up the reason for all homicides. This does not include just the death penalty cases, but all homicides.
The death penalty varies from state to state, but death penalty cases have certain criteria. Table 1 shows the exact criteria for each state. The victims must be killed during a felony in most cases. This would include robberies, rape, or drug related homicides. The pro death penalty advocates always give the statistics portraying the victims in the most sympathetic light, with the murderer in the worst light.
These statistics are used to show how bad death row inmates can be. This should be a given. Only people that are criminals commit homicides during a felony. These facts are given to scare people into becoming pro death penalty. These statistics can be manipulated for the anti death penalty individuals. Out of the homicides 91.6% are first time murderers¸ 95.1% were not incarcerated or escaped from incarceration, and so forth. Statistics are only as good as the source they come from.
Anti death penalty advocates always give statistics giving race and education levels of death row inmates. Blacks are considered to be more likely to get the death penalty. This makes the death penalty racists. The facts are only 37% of blacks compared to 57% of whites are executed (The Death Penalty in the U.S. 2008). Current death row statistics show 45% white and 42% black. Race is an emotional issue. This is due to Jim Crow laws in the South. For many years white juries would not convict a white man of killing a black, but black men would be executed for the same crime on whites. This is where the myth that more black men is