04:00 - 12. november 1999

Crime and Punishment in the U.S.


Tackling the subject of crime and punishment in the United States presents a moral dilemma. Whether to write with your head or your stomach. I’m going to attempt both. The prison population statistics, capital punishment, zero tolerance, three offences and its life in jail are enough to severely upset that internal organ.

The U.S. State of Texas’s reputation for bigness extends to their disproportionate use of capital punishment compared with other states in the Union. In 1997, under Governor George W. Bush, Texas executed 50% (37) of the 74 executed in the United States that year. Four times more than its nearest rival Virginia with nine executions.

The 74 executed for murder included 27 black men. At the end of 1997, 34 States and the Federal prison system held 3,335 under sentence of death, 3% more than at the end of 1996. The figure included 1,406 black and 44 women.

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