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Telling Report from Dr. Baumgartner

Earlier this year Dr. Frank Baumgartner from North Carolina University-Chapel Hill released research that indicated that the application of the death penalty in Missouri is “unfair, capricious, and arbitrary.” His research was used to highlight the racial, geographic, and gender disparities so prevalent in Missouri’s death penalty system.

Here are a few key findings:

  1. Most of Missouri’s 80 executions occurring between 1976 and 2014 came from just 3, or 2.6%, of the state’s 114 counties.

  2. Homicides involving a White victim are 7x more likely to end up in an execution, and homicides involving a White female victim are 14x more likely to end up in an execution.

  3. 81% of the individuals executed in Missouri were convicted of killing White victims, even though White victims are less than 40% of all murder victims in the state.

  4. Even thought the vast majority of murders involve an offender and victims of the same race, 54% of the African-American men that were executed by Missouri were convicted of crimes involving White victims.

For this and many more reasons, the death penalty is losing its appeal in Missouri and in the rest of the country. Some speculate that Capital Punishment will not pass the Supreme Court’s muster in the many trials to come.

Read more of Dr. Baumgartner’s research on the decline of the appeal of the death penalty in America here.

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