The Movement for Black Lives’ new policy platform is clear about the death penalty’s racism:
“The death penalty in the U.S. was designed to bring lynching into the courtroom and has targeted Blacks and other people of color and poor people throughout its history. The death penalty devalues Black lives — statistically those convicted of killing white people are at least three to four times more likely to be sentenced to death than killers of anyone else… It is randomly and arbitrarily sought by prosecutors who have the sole discretion to seek or not seek death, upwards of 95 percent of whom are white…”
Willie Manning is African American. In his concluded case it was a white prosecutor and two white law enforcement officers who coerced the key witness into wrongly securing Willie’s two death sentences.
And in his ongoing case it was a white judge that allowed the same white prosecutor to strike African American jurors from his trial. The prosecutor, appealing to a white audience, later denigrated Willie publicly with the label of ‘Beelzebub’, one of the Devil’s senior lieutenants.
The connection with lynchings is only too apparent.
We applaud the Movement for Black Lives’ stand.