Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

BI EDUCATION BEAT: Critics Call Death Penalty Legal Lynching of Blacks

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

BI EDUCATION BEAT: Critics Call Death Penalty Legal Lynching of Blacks

Article excerpt

BI EDUCATION BEAT: Critics Call Death Penalty Legal Lynching of Blacks.

DURHAM, NC -- Capital punishment serves primarily as a way to lynch African Americans in the modern South, according to some critics.

The death penalty also does not deter crime and is more costly than life imprisonment, but satisfies the need of politicians for votes and the need of judges for public support, said several participants in a recent panel discussion at Duke University.

"I see a kind of justice that we have in the courts that in many parts of the South is not different from the courts in 1930 or 1940," said Stephen Bright, director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. "Let me tell you something -- I see legal lynchings all the time."

Participants in the panel discussion included North Carolina Central University Chancellor Julius Chambers and University of North Carolina law professor and civil-rights lawyer John Boger.

The Supreme Court's 1987 ruling in McClesky v. Kemp shows that "a little bit of discrimination doesn't make any difference, especially against Black folk," Chambers said.

Boger unsuccessfully argued that case, which challenged a death penalty against a Black defendant who faced an all-white Georgia jury. …

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