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Sotomayor hearings: Death penalty

July 14, 2009 |  2:18 pm

Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois tried hard to get Judge Sonia Sotomayor to agree with him that the death penalty “has not been handled well.”

He said that minorities count for “a disproportionate 43% of executions” and that while “white victims account for one-half of all murder victims, 80% of all death penalty cases involve victims who are white. Does it raise questions of fairness on your side of the table?”

“That’s a legislative problem,” Sotomayor said. “I can only look at the case that’s before me and decide that case.”

--Robin Abcarian

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