Study finds victim race factor in imposing death sentences

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new study of capital punishment in Pennsylvania says death sentences are more common when the victim is white and less frequent when the victim is black.

The report obtained by The Associated Press draws from court and prosecution records over an 11-year period.

Researchers at Penn State say a white victim increases the odds of a death sentence by 8 percent. When the victim is black, the chances are 6 percent lower.

The report also found the prosecution of death penalty cases varies widely among counties.

Researchers describe that variation as the most prominent differences researchers identified.

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