The Champion

March 2003 , Page 10 

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Death Watch

By Chris Adams

Read more 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 death–eligible cases.

Eight of the 12 men on Maryland’s death row are black. This is the highest ra

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