Introduction Elected prosecutors wield an enormous amount of discretion and power. They decide who...Read More
Racial Exclusion and Bias
Patterns of racial exclusion and bias frequently taint the entire criminal justice process in outlier counties. For example, numerous studies show that people of color are prevented from serving on juries at much higher rates than White persons. In the context of the death penalty, outlier counties are often defined by badges of racial exclusion, including Confederate flags and monuments that are displayed outside of Southern courthouses. Today, the death penalty is more frequently used when the victim is white than when the victim is Black. In some states, like Louisiana, no white person has ever been executed for the murder of a Black man. In the context of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes and life without parole for juvenile offenders, racially-charged myths about crack babies and juvenile predators drove a punitive turn in criminal justice sentencing.