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Study Finds Racial Disparities in Military Death Penalty Are Worse than Civilian Side

Posted Aug 29, 2011 7:41 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A statistical study has found that minorities in the military are twice as likely to receive a death sentence as their white counterparts.

The study, set to be published later this year, found the racial inequity is worse than known to exist in most civilian court systems, McClatchy Newspapers reports.

Ten of 16 men sentenced to death by the military in the last 27 years are minorities. The racial disparities in military cases were most pronounced in murders of civilians who had few ties to the military, the study concluded.

The lead researchers were law professors David Baldus of the University of Iowa and Catherine Grosso of Michigan State University. They found no evidence of conscious bias, but cited substantial evidence that race has an unconscious influence on decision makers.

Sentencing Law and Policy notes the story and two others by McClatchy examining the military death penalty.

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