An article entitled These Lives Matter, Those Ones Don’t:  Comparing Execution Rates by the Race and Gender of the Victim in the US and in the Top Death Penalty States, recently published in the Albany Law Review, tackles data on how the race of a victim impacts the imposition of the death penalty.  What the UNC- Chapel Hill researchers found was that that the race of a victim has a statistically significant impact on who does and does not get the death penalty.

The article states that a person who kills a white woman is ten times more likely to be executed than the killer of a Black male.  Despite the fact that Black males have the highest chance of being killed, their murders almost never face the death penalty.

Data like this is important to know and process as the fairness of the death penalty is examined.  Either one has to accept that the taking of a white life is worse than the taking of a Black life, or that the criminal justice system has deep flaws with the imposition of the death penalty.  Where there is a flaw with the most serious of penalties, the best course of action for any civilized people is to discontinue the use of the death penalty.