All this week, public radio stations across Texas are reporting on the state’s use of the death penalty. We’ll talk about how Texas’ use of the punishment compares with other states with Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. And later in the hour, we’ll talk with Tim Cole, an assistant professor at UNT Dallas College of Law who previously served four terms as the District Attorney of Texas for the 97th District.
Robert Dunham on …
… why some are rethinking the death penalty:
“We know that the single most likely factor in whether you end up on death row is not what you did, it is what is the political belief and the political usage of the death penalty by the local prosecutor. The next most important factor, again, is still not what you were accused of doing, it’s what the quality of the representation you were provided. The next most likely factor is the race of the victim. And we see in all jurisdictions across the United States that use the death penalty that it is disproportionately employed when there are white victims. And when there’s a white victim it tends to be disproportionately employed against defendants of color.”