From the Archive

Death penalty negatively impacts Natives
Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Before tribes were allowed to opt out of the federal death penalty, American Indians were put to death at a disproportionately higher rate, The Gallup Independent reports.

A study by the Capital Punishment Research Project found that 19 percent of the 340 men and women executed prior to 1994 were Native Americans. Native Americans make up less than 1 percent of the general population.

In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act to allow tribes to opt out of the federal death penalty for first-degree murder cases. But tribes cannot opt out for certain drug-related and "general applicability" crimes because Congress reinstated the death penalty for these cases.

Get the Story:
Navajo death penalty stand still clouded (The Gallup Independent 6/10) <

Related Stories:
Navajo president wants to revisit death penalty (05/28)
Report: More Indians on state death row (12/12)
The Death Penalty: Race may matter (9/27)

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