07
Mar
According to evidence recently accepted by the Supreme Court, a black man who kills a white is three times more likely to suffer the penalty of death than a white man who kills a white. A black man who kills a white is eleven times more likely to be slain by the state than a white man who kills a black. In my idealistic youth, this was known as racial discrimination or even racism. Now, says the majority on the Supreme Court, it is “a discrepancy that appears to correlate with race.” However, as the justices went on to say, such “apparent disparities in sentencing are an inevitable part of our criminal justice system.” If that last statement is true, it is rather a condemnation.
- Christopher Hitchens, The Nation, August 29, 1987

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