Black people are much more frequently executed for killing white people than white people are for killing black people, and capital punishment is rarely used at all victims when are black — especially when they're male.
That's according to a paper that's set to be published in the journal Politics, Groups, and Identities.
The researchers — Frank Baumgartner, Amanda Grigg, and Alisa Mastro —compared homicide victim data with data on the victims of every inmate executed in the US from 1976 through 2013 (that's 1,369 executions).
Here's some of what they say the data revealed:
While 47 percent of all homicide victims were black, blacks made up 17 percent of the victims of inmates who were executed.
As a London School of Economics blog post on the paper pointed out, "this suggests not only that blacks are treated particularly harshly for the murder of whites, but also that homicides with black victims are treated less seriously than those with white victims."
This comparison of the race of all homicide victims to the race of homicide victims of individuals who were later executed makes that even clearer and further illustrates the connection between a victims' race and his or her killer's fate:
The researchers found that it was exceptionally hard to find examples of killers of black male victims who were executed. "Black men, especially among the relatively young, have a statistical risk of homicide victimization many times higher than any other racial or gender group, " they wrote, "but their killers rarely face the death penalty."
They titled the paper #BlackLivesDontMatter, altering the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag that's been used in protests against police-involved deaths of African-American men, to reflect the sobering findings.