Race is more likely to affect death sentencing than smoking affects the likelihood of dying from heart disease.

22.09.2011 § Leave a comment


Two of the country’s foremost researchers on race and capital punishment, law professor David Baldus and statistician George Woodworth, along with colleagues in Philadelphia, have conducted a careful analysis of race and the death penalty in Philadelphia which reveals that the odds of receiving a death sentence are nearly four times (3.9) higher if the defendant is black. These results were obtained after analyzing and controlling for case differences such as the severity of the crime and the background of the defendant. The data were subjected to various forms of analysis, but the conclusion was clear: blacks were being sentenced to death far in excess of other defendants for similar crimes.

A second study by Professor Jeffrey Pokorak and researchers at St. Mary’s University Law School in Texas provides part of the explanation for why the application of the death penalty remains racially skewed. Their study found that the key decision makers in death cases around the country are almost exclusively white men. Of the chief District Attorneys in counties using the death penalty in the United States, nearly 98% are white and only 1% are African-American.

These new empirical studies underscore a persistent pattern of racial disparities which has appeared throughout the country over the past twenty years. Examinations of the relationship between race and the death penalty, with varying levels of thoroughness and sophistication, have now been conducted in every major death penalty state. In 96% of these reviews, there was a pattern of either race-of-victim or race-of-defendant discrimination, or both. The gravity of the close connection between race and the death penalty is shown when compared to studies in other fields. Race is more likely to affect death sentencing than smoking affects the likelihood of dying from heart disease. The latter evidence has produced enormous changes in law and societal practice, while racism in the death penalty has been largely ignored.


18 year old accused in chrissy polis beating gets 5 years + 3 years probation

20.09.2011 § Leave a comment

a fraction of the max but still, she was charged as an adult, with hate crimes and first-degree assault (doesn’t this shit usually have to be armed??). seems like a crazy sentence for a first time unarmed offender. the 14 year old is still in juvey.
For those who don’t remember:
Teonna Monae Brown, 19, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree assault and a hate crime in the beating of Chrissy Lee Polis, 22. The April attack drew national attention after a video went viral online, and it became a rallying point for transgender-rights advocates.

Brown, who tearfully apologized in court Tuesday, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended, plus three years of supervised probation, as prosecutors sought. The maximum sentence for the crimes is 35 years.

The situation of two black young women attacking a white transwoman has been cast unilaterally as a hate crime against Chrissy Polis on the basis of her being trans. Polis herself speaks in this video, and seems to believe it was a case of some girls attacking her for supposedly talking to the boyfriend of one of them. Traumatic as fuck, but basis for a 5-year sentence? Even if it had been unambiguously a hate crime, white supremacy would deserve some credit for this sentence.

“This is the harshest penalty I have ever seen handed down to an 18-year-old first-time offender in a case of assault,” Timothy Knepp, Brown’s lawyer, said later. He called the case “a tragic set of circumstances that was really overblown by the state’s attorney’s office.”

President of ‘equality maryland’ on the other hand said:
“The whole incident is unfortunate and demonstrates the lack of knowledge and understanding, and discrimination against transgender people,” said Patrick Wojahn, board president of the Equality Maryland Foundation. “If anything, five years may have been too short of an amount of time for the attack and the amount of hatred that was shown in the incident.”
fuck equality maryland!!!!
Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk agreed. “Five years is not enough for what she did. It was really horrible — nobody should do something like that to another human being,” said Pena-Melnyk, who represents parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties. She proposed legislation to prevent employers, creditors and others from discriminating against transgender people, but the measure failed in the 2011 General Assembly.

Poorest States in US…

16.09.2011 § Leave a comment

There’s a tizzy about recent data showing that poverty in US is highest its been since 1993…  but this interesting Graph at Economist also shows that the 10th percentile of poor peeps have been having a bad time of it all along..


Then there’s this data on what states have the most poverty….

10. North Carolina
> Median income: $43,275
> Poverty rate: 16.1% (tied for 9th highest)
> Without health insurance: 16.7% (13th highest)
> Unemployment: 10.1% (9th highest)

9. Alabama
> Median income: $42,218
> Poverty rate: 16.1% (tied for 9th highest)
> Without health insurance: 14.4% (21st highest)
> Unemployment rate: 10.0% (10th highest)

8. Kentucky
> Median income: $42,091
> Poverty rate: 17.3% (6th highest)
> Without health insurance: 15.5% (18th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 9.5% (13th highest)

7. South Carolina
> Median income: $42,059
> Poverty rate: 14.9% (16th highest)
> Without health insurance: 17.6% (12th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 10.9% (4th highest)

6. Montana
> Median income: $42,005
> Poverty rate: 13.4% (24th highest)
> Without health insurance: 16.3% (16th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 7.7% (18th lowest)

5. Louisiana
> Median income: $41,896
> Poverty rate: 18% (4th highest)
> Without health insurance: 18% (11th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 7.6% (17th lowest)

4. West Virginia
> Median income: $40,824
> Poverty rate: 15.7% (12th highest)
> Without health insurance: 13.9% (25th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 8.1% (tied for 24th lowest)

3. Tennessee
> Median income: $40,026
> Poverty rate: 16.1% (11th highest)
> Without health insurance: 14.7% (20th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 9.8% (11th highest)

2. Arkansas
> Median income: $38,600
> Poverty rate: 16.5% (8th highest)
> Without health insurance: 18.5% (9th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 8.2% (25th highest)

1. Mississippi
> Median income: $36,850
> Poverty rate: 21.3% (the highest)
> Without health insurance: 18.7% (8th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 10.4% (7th highest)

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