"U.S. Counties Killing The Most People Are Good At Getting Death Penalty, Not So Good At Justice," is by Radley Balko at Huffington Post. Here's the beginning:
Just 2 percent of counties in America are responsible for more than half the nation's executions, and those same counties have been responsible for a disproportionate share of high-profile prosecutorial misconduct and exonerations following wrongful convictions.
In a report released last month, the Death Penalty Information Center found that 2 percent of counties, as well as being responsible for a majority of executions, can also claim credit for 56 percent of the current death row population. What's more, just 15 percent of U.S. counties account for all of the executions since 1976, according to the DPIC.
There are lots of different ways to think about these figures. And my Huffington Post colleagues Katy Hall and Jan Diehm have broken them down with some informative graphics. Since only 32 states have the death penalty, perhaps it shouldn't be terribly surprising that such a small percentage of counties account for such a large portion of executions, particularly if most of them are counties with large populations. (And that seems to be the case, although these counties aren't all necessarily the largest in their respective states.) At the very least, it is more evidence that the death penalty is applied inconsistently.
But what, if anything, do these numbers say about justice and fairness in these counties that are populating the country's cells on death row?
Earlier coverage of the Death Penalty Information Center's latest report is at the link.