Race, racism, death penalty, lynching


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Law and Race | Race and Ethnicity


Carrie Buist


In this project, I seek to answer the question: To what extent is the death penalty a tool of racial terror in America, and how can we fix it? America has long been plagued by the legacy of slavery and white supremacy. In the reconstruction era, when slavery was no longer legal, angry white citizens would simply round up African-Americans and lynch them if they felt they had done something “wrong”. However, in the modern era, such blatant displays of racism are illegal, and the racist views of society are subverted into the court system. Black men are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned, and are a majority of those on death row. In this project, I will attempt to evaluate how the death penalty conviction process is specifically used in order to subjugate the African-American population to reinforce the stereotype that people of color are inherently more violent and dangerous than white people, and how through legislative action, we can counteract the issues at hand.