“All lives matter”….. This is a universal principle recognized throughout the world irrespective of caste or creed, gender or sexuality or religion. But this does not seem to apply in case of Black’s whose lives are not considered worthy of good education, decent shelter or good living. Blacks are subjected to the most gruesome brutalities in America. One of such harsh punishments they are subjected to is death penalties. In the sphere of enforcement of capital punishment as well, the Blacks face a lot of discrimination. How far this aspect grows into a phenomenon is the subject matter of this paper.
- CONSTITUTIONAL EQUALITY
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”.
This means that everyone must be accorded equal protection under the law. It expressly prohibits any form of discrimination. Everyone must be treated in the same manner without any preference in any manner whatsoever. The Fourteenth Amendment upheld equality as a constitutional value.
In this light, the United States Supreme Court has championed and affirmed the right to equality that African-Americans are entitled to through its decision in Brown v. Board of Education wherein the Court prohibited racial segregation of public schools. Also the concept of non-discrimination against Black’s acquired momentum with the beginning of the civil rights movement in 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in a bus to a white person resulting in a spontaneous boycott giving rise to a widespread revolt. The civil rights movement was a major movement which championed the cause of the Black’s.
Thus any action which discriminates against the Blacks would amount to a flagrant violation of constitutional duties.
- LAWS GOVERNING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE U.S
Many organizations like Amnesty International have vociferously advocated the abolition of strongly argue for abolishing death penalties on humanitarian grounds. They often project gross human rights abuse as grounds for stoppage of this gruesome inhuman practice. United States being one of the largest democracies of the world, it is reprehensible for it to still continue this barbaric practice.
- DISCRIMINATION AGAINST BLACKS
“One of you two is gonna hang for this. Since you're the nigger, you're elected”. This was said by a police officer in Texas to Clarence who was charged with the murder of a high school white girl.
“Since the nigger mom and dad are here anyway, why don't we go ahead and do the penalty phase today instead of having to subpoena them back at cost to the state”. This was said by a judge in Florida while delivering a judgement against a couple who were later sentenced to death.
In the case of Gregg v. Georgia, it was held that capital punishment would be administered with fairness and justice.
For example, in case of Philadelphia, 83% of the people on death row are Blacks. A recent study conducted shows that a Black is 3.9 times more likely to be subjected to a death penalty as compared to a white. The conviction rate is also 38% higher in case of Blacks.
“When people of color are killed in the inner city, when homeless people are killed, when the nobodies are killed, district attorneys do not seek to avenge their deaths. Black, Hispanic, or poor families who have a loved one murdered not only don't expect the district attorney's office to pursue the death penalty--which, of course, is both costly and time consuming--but are surprised when the case is prosecuted at all”
In the case of McCleskey v. Kemp, The United States Supreme Court discussed the issue of race and death penalties. It was laid down that in 93% of the cases there is evidence of race disparities. The race of the defendant served as a predominant factor in determining the death sentence. A recent report prepared by the American Bar Association, Professors Baldus and Woodworth also suggests similar statistics.
Another example of race discrimination is Kentucky's death row. Researches had found that Blacks who killed whites were more likely to be subject to death penalty than any other offender-victim combination. This grave discrepancy gives an impression that a White’s life is deemed to be more precious and valuable and the very old principle that all lives matter doesn’t seem to be upheld in reality.
 John Phillip Reid, “The Irrelevance of the Declaration”, in Hendrik Hartog, ed., Law in the American Revolution and the Revolution in the Law (New York University Press, 1981), 46–89.
 Section 1, XIV Amendment to the United States Constitution.
 Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
 Deborah Fins, “Death Row U.S.A. Fall 2014” (PDF). Death Penalty Information Center. Quarterly report by the Criminal Justice Project. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. July 3, 2015.
 Amnesty International “Annual Report 2014-2015”, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2015/02/annual-report-201415/, last accessed on 29/11/2015.
 Richard C. Dieter, Esq. Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center June 1998.
 Gregg v. Georgia 428 U.S. 153, 169].
 Peek v. Florida, 488 So.2d 52, 56 (Fla. 1986).
 B. Stevenson & R. Friedman, Deliberate Indifference: Judicial Tolerance of Racial Bias in Criminal Justice, 51 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 509, 522 (1994).
 M. Janofsky, Under Siege, Philadelphia's Criminal Justice System Suffers Another Blow, New York Times, April 10, 1997.
 H. Prejean, Would Jesus Pull the Switch?, Salt of the Earth, March/April, 1997, at 12.
 McCleskey v. Kemp 481 U.S. 279, 344 (1987).
 American Bar Association, “Evaluating Fairness and Accuracy in State Death Penalty Systems: The Pennsylvania Death Penalty Assessment Report”, http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/moratorium/assessmentproject/pennsylvania/finalreport.authcheckdam.pdf, last accessed on 29/11/2015.
 D. Baldus, et al., Reflections on the “Inevitability” of Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentencing and the “Impossibility” of Its Prevention, Detection, and Correction, 51 Washington & Lee Law Review 359, 365 (1994).