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Racial Justice Act: Not About Race, Not About Justice

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Attorneys for accused cop killer Demeatrius Montgomery have been trying to use the so-called Racial Justice Act to further delay his trail, which has already been lingering for years. The law allows judges to consider statistical evidence and data that suggests race was a factor in prosecutors seeking the death penalty on a disproportionate number of people from a racial group.

Montgomery is accused of fatally shooting Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton in the head in 2007. His attorneys are trying to argue, under the auspice of the Racial Justice Act, that the death penalty is being sought in the case because their client is black.

Yesterday, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion that shatters any myth that the misguided legislation an accused cop killer is hiding behind has anything remotely to do with race or justice. Referencing a deep well of statistics, the D.A. Office’s motion concludes:

“The evidence AGAINST racial discrimination is stark when looking back to 1984 and all the 43 executions under the current death penalty law.  30.2% of the executions were of African Americans.  65.11% of the executions were of whites.”

“The State further submits that an examination of the statistics prove that there is no evidence of racism in this County or the State.”

Noting that Montgomery’s defense reaches all the way back to 1910 “in an attempt to make the death penalty appear racially biased,” prosecutors argue in the motion that the “statute requires proof of current discrimination. A much more appropriate time frame would be the last ten years.”

But that, of course, would not fit the ridiculous meme the race-baiting shysters hiding behind the Racial Justice Act are trying to push. Consider the statistical evidence provided in the D.A.’s motion and judge for yourself:

In Mecklenburg County: Since January 2000 there have been 479 murder cases and 49 actual murder trails, 45 of which resulted in convictions. Of the 479 murder cases, eight were death penalty trails.

Of the 39 African Americans charged with murdering a White victim, 97 percent of those defendants received a plea offer. Only three cases in the last ten years that went to trail involved Black defendants killing White victims. Two were found guilty, for a 66.6 percent conviction rate. In comparison, African Americans who murdered Black victims were found guilty at a rate of 67.8 percent.

There have been eight death penalty trails. There has not been a single capital trail of a Black defendant charged with killing a White victim.

There were five executions from Mecklenburg County in the last ten years. Eighty percent (80%) of the defendants executed were White; only one (20%) was Black. His victim was also Black.

In North Carolina: African Americans committed 68.18% of the murders; Whites committed 35.36% of the murders. There have been 59 people sent to death row since 1999. The racial make-up of those cases: 52.5% were Black, although they were charged with 61.8% of the murders; 44% were White or Hispanic, although they were charged with only 35.36% of all murders.

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Short URL: https://pundithouse.com/?p=2090

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