- "A new study to be published in The Houston Law Review this fall has found two sorts of racial disparities in the administration of the death penalty there, one commonplace and one surprising.
The unexceptional finding is that defendants who kill whites are more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill blacks. More than 20 studies around the nation have come to similar conclusions.
But the new study also detected a more straightforward disparity. It found that the race of the defendant by itself plays a major role in explaining who is sentenced to death."
- "Scott Durfee, the general counsel for the Harris County district attorney’s office, rejected Professor Phillips’s conclusions and said that district attorneys there had long taken steps to insulate themselves from knowing the race of defendants and victims as they decided whether to seek the death penalty.
'To the extent Professor Phillips indicates otherwise, all we can say is that you would have to look at each individual case,” Mr. Durfee said. 'If you do that, I’m fairly sure that you would see that the decision was rational and reasonable.'"
- "Professor Phillips wrote about percentages and not particular cases, but his data suggest that black defendants were overrepresented in cases involving shootings during robberies, while white defendants were more likely to have committed murders during rapes and kidnappings and to have beaten, stabbed or choked their victims."