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By Chris Adams
Death Watch columns.
Study finds Maryland death penalty is racially based
The new Maryland death penalty study shows, as is the case with
virtually every other comprehensive study on the death penalty, race
matters. Black offenders who kill white people are most likely to be
sentenced to death. The study also finds that geography plays a major
role in who is sentenced to death.
The Maryland study, performed by criminologists from the University of
Maryland, studied over 6000 homicide prosecutions since 1978; 250
factors were evaluated by the researchers. The study was commissioned by
then-Governor Parris Glendening in 2000, after the fairness of the
death penalty had been questioned.
The race of the victim plays a significant role in prosecutor’s deciding
who shall face the death penalty. Death was sought in almost half of
black on white murders, yet was sought in one-fourth of all other
Eight of the 12 men on Maryland’s death row are black. This is the
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