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August 2, 2006

The federal death penalty in NY and elsewhere

The New York Law Journal has made available this interesting article exploring federal death penalty prosecutions in New York.  Here is a snippet:

More federal death penalty cases have been authorized in New York than in any other state, except Virginia, since capital punishment was reinstated for federal cases in 1988. Thirty-seven federal capital cases have been authorized in New York, compared with 50 in Virginia and 385 nationwide, according to data prepared by the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project, which was current as of July 14, 2006....

The data collected by the death penalty project also found a higher proportion of minority defendants in federal capital prosecutions in New York than nationwide: 94.6 percent in New York (35 minority defendants out of 37) as opposed to 73 percent nationwide (281 out of 385).  Mr. Neufeld, who was formerly the head of the Legal Aid Society's criminal defense division, said that, while the difference between the New York and national figures was a product of a policy choice to target urban gang crime, it nonetheless reflected "a distressing racial disparity."

August 2, 2006 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

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