World Day Against the Death Penalty: Where capital punishment stands

Screenshot of a Women Donors Network and Death Penalty Information Center map that shows the percentage of elected prosecutors who are white in states with the death penalty.

This past Saturday was World Day Against the Death Penalty. The day has special significance this year for Catholics, because earlier this year Pope Francis issued his most forceful call yet to abolish the practice, which he says is inconsistent with the Catholic Church’s pro-life values.

The death penalty has been proven to be racially and geographically biased, especially against African Americans. Yet, on the other side of the coin, a disproportionate number of prosecutors in death penalty states are white.

Our three stats this week (see graphic below) highlight the biases that have been found related to capital punishment. And this map, courtesy of the Women Donors Network and the Death Penalty Information Center, highlights the percentage of elected prosecutors in states with the death penalty who are white. 

Infographic created by Georgia Perry using Canva with data from Death Penalty Info, the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty USA.

[Georgia Perry is a freelance writer based in Oakland, California. She's contributed to several print and online magazines including, The Atlantic, CityLab, Portland Monthly Magazine and the Portland Mercury. She was formerly a staff writer at the Santa Cruz Weekly in California. Follow her on Twitter @georguhperry.]