According to the California Department of Corrections report as of April 2013, 35.88 percent of the people on death row in California are African-American men, 33.70 percent are white men, 22.37 percent are Latino men and 5.04 percent are “Other” men. The remaining 3 percent of the people on death row in California are women.1
African Americans are only 6.7 percent of the population in California.2 African American men, therefore, are less than half of that percentage, because there are more women than men in this country. So, if African American men are only 3.5 or 3.6 percent of California, and they are the majority population on California’s death row, what does this say about the racism and classism within this system that produces such lopsided statistics and results?
What does it say about the people within—and outside—of the system that allows this to continue, while acting like the problem doesn’t exist?
Kevin Cooper is a leading death penalty abolitionist; an innocent man on death row in San Quentin, CA.
Write to Kevin Cooper at:
Kevin Cooper C-65304, 4 EB 82
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94974