Death penalty aff



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Death Penalty Affirmative
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MacDougall, 7/6 (2020, Mark MacDougall, a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C., has defended indigent clients facing the death penalty in South Carolina, Missouri and Florida since 2000. [“The Future of the Death Penalty: Do All Black Lives Really Matter?” 07-06-2020, Law.com, URL: https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2020/07/06/the-future-of-the-death-penalty-do-all-black-lives-really-matter/?slreturn=20200607181557] kly
If there is a place in the American legal system that says loudly that black lives do not matter, that place is how we administer capital punishment. Only 12.7% of the U.S. population is African American, but in the 28 states that still sentence defendants to death, 41.6% of inmates facing capital punishment are black. The situation in the federal system—which has had the death penalty available since 1988—is substantially the same, with black inmates comprising slightly less than 42% of the population of federal death row in Terre Haute, Indiana. Today, right now, in the only place in our constitutional system that empowers the government to lawfully take a human lifeblack lives matter a whole lot less than white lives. The slow-motion killing of George Floyd was horrific in every way. The history of race in the United States is at the heart of that horror and of this moment of near-national consensus. But the same racial dynamic that was at work on that street in Minneapolis is played out daily in courtrooms throughout the United States—where a black defendant is nearly four times more likely to face the death penalty than a white person charged with the same crime, according to Race and the Death Penalty, published by the Capital Punishment Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way to renewed executions by denying the petition of four federal inmates who are scheduled to die later this year (Bourgeois, Alfred v. Barr). If black lives really do matter, we can begin to bring an end to a system in which the most fundamental human decision—life or death—is based largely on the color of a person’s skin.

All violence is possible when racism is tolerated – ethics are meaningless without a prior rejection of it



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