New Report Alleges Problems with the Death Penalty
by Jim Kouri, CPP
A just-released report claims that Florida's death-penalty system is full of problems with fairness, accuracy and racial disparity in sentencing.
The report was released by a group of Florida lawyers and jurists whom critics say are left-wing activists who have always opposed capital punishment. Florida is one of the leading states to impose the death penalty and to execute those sentenced to death.
The group studied the system for more than 18 months and claimed they found numerous problems, including a number of inmates they claim are innocent sitting on death row, numbers showing killing a white victim brings a higher likelihood of the death penalty, lack of funding for attorneys handling death row appeals, and a process that only requires a majority of the jury voting for death instead of a unanimous vote.
One police chief, who wished to remain anonymous said that if Florida began to impose the death penalty mostly on people who killed blacks, then there would be more blacks awaiting execution.
"Since the vast majority of homicides are intraracial as opposed to interrational, the study group appears to be deceptive," he said.
"Blacks usually kill blacks, Hispanics usually kill Hispanics, and white usually kill whites. Once liberals looked at the race of the killer; but when that didn't work and was proven inaccurate, they started complaining about the race of the victim," he added.
The police veteran with a masters in administration of justice says it's really a trick. If you sentence more people to death for killing blacks, you'll have more blacks on death row and the system will be labeled racist. If you sentence more people who kill whites, you'll have more whites on death row, but people will call it racist because on white receive justice.
"It's a cynical, devious trick by people who oppose capital punishment no matter who is involved," he said.
Another Florida official claims the study involved death row inmate who were convicted years ago, and that jury members, witnesses, and even presiding judges on some of those cases are now deceased.
"While they released their report, they failed to release their study's methodology," he said.
Team members of the study group included a circuit judge and state attorney. Funding for the study came from the American Bar Association and the European Union, although the group has yet to answer questions about European Union interest in US jurisprudence.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.