HARRISBURG, Pa. - The association of Pennsylvania prosecutors sees some positives in a new report that found death sentences are more common when the victim is white and less common when the victim is black.
The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA) released a statement Monday that describes the report as a vindication of their evenhandedness in applying the death penalty.
"This report’s conclusion is clear: capital punishment in Pennsylvania is not disproportionately targeted against defendants of color," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams, who serves as the association's president. "For so long, those who have sought to abolish the death penalty have argued that the race of the defendant plays the critical role in decisions about who gets the death penalty. This report squarely debunks that theory."
"[O]ur findings are largely consistent with the notion that legally relevant factors are likely the primary factors that shape interpretations of blameworthiness and dangerousness that theoretically drive the punishment decisions we examined," the study noted.
The study by Penn State's Justice Center for Research also found the prosecution of death penalty cases varies widely among counties.
The study was produced for the Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness.
- Fire at Chester County senior facility sparks investigation
- State troopers hold card drive for Cpl. Seth Kelly
- Pennsylvania unemployment rate at lowest in 10 years
- Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ridge recovering from heart attack
- Mike Pries announces run for Congress in Pennsylvania
- Claims of delay tactics in Pennsylvania redistricting case
- Updated High winds expected throughout the day
- Domestic assault suspect arrested after intense standoff
- A tale of two mayors and a police station in East Greenville
- Upper Macungie Township Police announce seat belt enforcement
- Heartwarming video lands local family on Ellen Show
- Reading Holiday Parade brings out some holiday cheer
- Santa and ABATE bring Christmas a little early
- Lehigh defeats Lafayette, wins Patriot League title
- AP: Wolf starting to look like 'two-term Tom' as 2018 approaches
- Chainsaw explosion kills man from York County