The platform contains 40 specific demands listed under 6 categories including; End the War on Black People, Reparations, Invest-Divest, Economic Justice, Community Control and Political Power.
Working my way through each point or category would be onerous and a waste of time. Frankly, some of the demands are so laughable; I wonder if we’re all being trolled. But let’s tackle the “War on Black People”.
The group’s position is that, since the Country’s inception, there has been a systemic war on the black community. Their proposed solution is an end to capital punishment. According to deathpenaltyinfo.org, (34%) of executed defendants are black, furthermore, 43% of death row inmates are also black.
The group also claims that 75% of murder victims in cases resulting in execution are white. Even though nationally, whites make up about 44% of murder victims. The premise is simple, if you are black and you kill a white person, you are statistically more likely to be sentenced to death.
I’ve done some digging on this topic and I won’t dispute their statistical claims. What I will dispute, however, is the bucketing all of the murders together. You see, murder is not that simple when it comes to sentencing. Like most other crimes, murder has certain degrees of depravity that may guide the charging or sentencing decisions.
In determining the sentence for any crime, the court will consider if any aggravating factors exist, including:
- Previous conviction of violent felony involving firearm.
- Previous conviction of offense for which a sentence of death or life imprisonment was authorized.
- Previous conviction of other serious offenses.
- Grave risk of death to additional persons.
- Heinous, cruel, or depraved manner of committing offense.
- Prior conviction for two felony drug offenses.
- Vulnerability of victim.
- Prior conviction for serious federal drug offenses.
- The defendant committed the offense against a public official.
- Prior conviction of sexual assault or child molestation.
- Multiple killings or attempted killings.
Many murders are associated with the commission of other crimes, such as robbery. In 2014 for example, there were 1,651 murders that also involved robbery, narcotics or gang activity. In the case of robbery, 73% of robbery offenders are black. Certainly, the court considered the additional factors involved in those 1,651 murders when sentencing the defendant.
It’s also important to consider that 40% of state incarcerated criminals are black. Why? Because prior criminal records will also weigh heavily in the courts decision on sentencing.
The facts behind this obvious disparity are much more complicated than the group of black activist organizations would have you believe. We’ve touched upon two potential explanations for the disparity in sentencing data. Whether you a pro-death penalty or not, to conclude that there is a race driven motivation in the legal system is just false.