Death Penalty and Racism

Death Penalty and Racism

Racism is one of the most controversial issues which roots back to the start of time. Although former American president, Pres. Abraham Lincoln succeeded in freeing the blacks from slavery, there still exists a distinguished separation between skin colors.


Racism has also been one of the issues faced in death penalty. In the present times, blacks have the higher percentage of execution compared to any race.


The Peterson Group, a non –profit online community campaigning against the legalization of death penalty and the abolition of its use in more than 30 states in America and many nations around the globe has bravely stated that death penalty is an excuse to the practice of executing “blacks”, a clear practice of racism.


According to reviews, studies and research, 42% of the population of those in the death row is black. Even the current president of the United States of America who is a black American himself has stated in one of his public statement regarding death penalty that one of the issues faced in truly bringing justice in capital cases is racial bases. He added, “uneven application of the death penalty, situations in which there were individuals on death row who later on were discovered to have been innocent because of exculpatory evidence."


In Indonesia which also openly practices death penalty as capital punishment restrictive for 16 crimes in a form of firing squad, complaints had also been fired on the government’s execution of members of the recent Bali Nine. There seemed to be a strict policy for foreigners but great leniency to locals.


Atlaoui, a 51-year-old French citizen, was the first to face the firing squad out of 17 people arrested in November 2005 in a police raid at Tangerang, close to Jakarta, on what was described as the largest methamphetamine and ecstasy pill factory to be busted in South-East Asia. Four other Indonesians went on to be charged in the case: a storekeeper named Samad Sani, a chemist named Hendra Rahardja, Sudrajat's son Kevin Saputra, and a maintenance man named Toto Kusriadi. Four others, an electrician and three security guards, were released without charge.


If this continues, then, foreigners might as well use locals to conduct their illegal processes by paying locals.


See, the practice of death penalty doesn’t promise for the crime to lessen, especially when racism and political agenda are involved. Instead, it adds another crime on top of the crime done.