Episode 2: (Part One) Struck by Lightning: How Capital Punishment Cases are Pursued and Imposed at Disproportionate Rates Against African Americans and Other Minorities


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In Episode 3, Cody Duran talks with Tamara Brady, a Colorado Public Defense Attorney specializing in Capital Punishment cases. Cody and Tamara discuss the history of the Death Penalty in the United States, and how race, as it has with most areas in the Criminal Justice system, has continued to play a role in both the prosecution and imposition of the Death Penalty. The current case law allows for the Death Penalty, and about 25 states plus the federal government still use the Death Penalty, and continues to use it in disproportionate numbers against African American and other minority communities.
Cases Discussed

Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972) (holding the imposition of the Death Penalty in three Georgia cases violated the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment because its application was arbitrary and capricious).

Georgia v. Gregg, 428 U.S. 153 (1976) (holding the imposition of the Death Penalty with additional structured requirements in the revised Georgia statute did not violate the Eighth Amendment).

McCleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279 (1987) (holding that defendant must show purposeful discrimination to establish Equal Protection claims under the 14th Amendment).

Ring v. Arizona, (application of Apprendi v. New Jersey, to Capital Cases; requiring juries to find aggravating and mitigating factors in the sentencing phase of a capital case).

Other Sources

Meg Beardsley, Sam Kamin, Justin Marceau & Scott Phillips, Disquieting Discretion: Race, Geography & the Colorado Death Penalty in the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century (2015).

Death Penalty Information Center (www.deathpenaltyinfo.org)

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