Friday, September 30, 2011

Capital Punishment in the U.S.

On September 21, 2011, there were two executions, one in Texas and the other in Georgia.   Widespread doubts about the guilt of Troy Davis, the man executed in Georgia, led to international protests.  The case against Lawrence Brewer, convicted in the murder of James Byrd, was more clear cut.  Politics This Week | The Economist published a chart which shows that both the death penalty and resulting executions are on the decline in the United States. The story, which relies on statistics from the NAACP and the U. S. Department of Justice, reports that while there are "virtually identical numbers of black and white victims of homicide crimes against whites lead to three-quarters of all death sentences." With death sentences on the decline and exonerations on the rise, it is ironic that Brewer, convicted of killing a black man, and Davis, convicted of killing a white man, were executed on the same day.

Gurney used for lethal injections in
The question of capital punishment is a polarizing one. CQ Researcher, a subscription-based source, is a good place to look for pro and con on this issue and other topics of national interest.  Recent reports  include "Death Penalty Debates" and "Wrongful Convictions".  CQ Researcher can be found on the General and Interdisciplinary--Most Useful menu in Chinook's Find Articles & More pages.   You can take a look at the data Capital Punishment from the Bureau of Justics Statistics.    Additional information is available on the Government Information page on Crime and Justice: Reports and Statistics page. 

No comments:

Post a Comment