How do Louisiana death penalty statistics demonstrate racial inequality?
If anyone needs evidence that racism still exists in the state of Louisiana, they don’t have to look any further than the statistics relating to homicides in the state. If ever there was evidence of a societal view that “Black Lives Don’t Matter,” it can found in a recent study of the death penalty in Louisiana, soon to be published in the Loyola University Journal of Public Interest Law.
Some of the appalling facts noted are as follows:
- Louisiana almost never executes murderers who kill African-American men in spite of the fact that more than 60 percent of the murder victims in the state are black males
- Between 1976 and 2011, there have been about 15,000 murders of black males in Louisiana. Of the individuals found guilty of these crimes, 62 were sentenced to death and 3 were executed
- During that same period of time, approximately 1300 white women have been murdered, for which 89 death sentences have been meted out and 18 people have been executed
These facts lead to the inescapable reality that the execution rate for killers of white females was 48 percent higher than for killers of black males. The racial inequities evident in these statistics mirror those evident in studies of statistics of the U.S. as a whole, though the figures for Louisiana are even worse than the national average.
Finally, researchers unearthed the fact that no white person has ever been put to death for killing a black male in the history of Louisiana. The researchers point this is might be a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment protection of equal protection.