Blacks, Skin tone, And The Death Penalty

Chance writes: New research by a group university professors revealed that blacks who have predominantly black features example dark skin, full lips, larger nose, etc are more likely to receive the death penalty than blacks with less predominantly black features. The professors did good detailed research before they came to their conclusion.

 Blacks, Skin tone, And The Death Penalty

By Chance, Chancellorfiles

 Chance: Among blacks does skin tone sometimes play a role in which blacks will get the death penalty? published in the May 2006 edition of Psychological Science Professors from Stanford, UCLA, Yale, and Cornell, led by Prof. Jennifer Eberhardt, examines whether a black defendant on trial for murder is likely to be sentenced to death if he has stereotypical black features. These stereotypical black features are darker skin, larger nose, and fuller lips.

The researchers from the various universities came to the conclusion based upon their research that a black defendant with stereotypical black appearance (darker skin, fuller lips, and large nose) is more likely to get the death penalty for killing a white person. Wherefore, black people with less stereotypical black features get the death penalty less when accused of killing a white person. The researchers used more than 600 death eligible cases from Philadelphia in which the defendant was black, and charged with killing a white person. The researchers found that black defendants who looked stereotypically black received the death penalty 57.5% (out of 100% they received the death penalty 57.5%) for killing a white person, and black defendants who looked less stereotypically black received the death penalty only 24.4% (out of 100% they received the death penalty 24.4%) for killing a white person.

 Students from Stanford University noticed and rated the degree of stereotypical features in photos of black male defendants from Philadelphia who received the death penalty — that most were blacks with darker skin, larger noses, and fuller lips. Researchers also found that black defendants accused of killing black victims, the death penalty sentencing rates for those who were perceived as looking stereotypically black, and those who appeared less stereotypically black were nearly identical with stereotypical looking black having 46.6% and less stereotypical looking blacks having 45%. The study was conducted by professors Jennifer L. Eberhardt (Stanford) , Paul G. Davies (UCLA), Valerie J. Purdie-Vaughns (Yale University), and Sheri Lynn Johnson (Cornell Law School). (Psychological Science, Volume 17, Number 5 (2006)).


This means that blacks who have a lot of mixed blood are perceived as less threatening by whites and other non-white racial groups. So basically, the research shows that the lighter the skin tone among black defendants in death penalty cases the better chance the defendant has of not receiving the death penalty. There are degrees of Lighter skin tones among blacks in America. But the lighter skin tone that are referred to in these death penalty cases for blacks is, any skin tone that is not dark. There are blacks who have caramel brown skin and blacks who are light skinned. In death penalty cases caramel brown skin blacks and light skin blacks often have a greater chance of not receiving the death penalty when compared to dark skin blacks. 

  By Chance Kelsey (Chancellor)

Written during the 21st century by Chance

  1. Yo Chance this is what I was getting at when I was talking about that lightskin-darkskin thing. Although I was mainly comming at it from the angle of what we (black folk) do to each other. But it dosent suprise that thier is bias against the darkest of black people as it relates to the death penalty. I would imagine that this prejudice against the darkest black people plays itself out in all aspects of american society.

    In my oppinion in order for us to really start to prosper we are going to have to find a way to kill this skin color thing.

    Once we get the skin thing straight within ourselves, we can re-educate america and began to kill that bullshit or at least cut it down so they dont fry brothas quicker depending on how dark thier skin is.

  2. To Mark

    Mark, you are right about this, we as black people need to eliminate the skin tone problem from among our-selves. Other racial groups take advantage of our skin tone problems by hiring blacks who are lighter and favoring blacks who are lighter in many other areas.

    I know that this is frustrating as hell for a lot of dark skinned blacks. The inner pain that alot of them go through is indescribale I believe. So day this garbage of skin tone will not be among us as a racial group and as humanity.

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