Sentencing Disparities: The Death Penalty
History has shown a wide system of biases among states in the use of the death penalty. In Witherspoon v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 510 (1968) and Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976), the US Supreme court attempted to address discriminatory practices of disproportionate execution of blacks in many states.
In this assignment, you will discuss the following questions:
Conduct a brief search and discuss existing views on the death penalty and sentencing disparities when it comes to race. Analyze whether the death penalty is used more often in cases involving minorities than nonminorities. If so, what remedies can be used to correct this disparity.
List the aggravating and mitigating factors recognized in your state.
Once you have listed the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, comment on whether you agree, disagree, or think that some others should be included. Explain your reasoning.
Note: You can find these in your state’s laws. If your state does not allow the death penalty, choose the nearest death penalty state.