A new report titled CAPITAL PUNISHMENT DECISIONS IN PENNSYLVANIA: 2000-2010, Implications for Racial, Ethnic and Other Disparate Impacts, found that death sentences are more common when the victim is white than when the victim is black. “Defendants of any race with White Victims were 8% more likely to receive the death penalty, while defendants with Black victims were 6% less likely to receive the death penalty.” The 197-report was prepared by the Penn State Justice Center for Research for the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness. Moreover, the study concludes that the “race of a victim, and the type of representation afforded to a defendant play more important roles in shaping death penalty outcomes in Pennsylvania than do the race or ethnicity of the defendant.”
The Training Division provides program materials on strategies for litigating race in federal court. Traning Division resources for representing capital defendants and capital habeas petitioners in federal court are available at the Capital Defense Network.