WASHINGTON - A study by a group of law and statistics professors found that minorities in the military were twice as likely to be sentenced to death than their white counterparts.
Professor David Baldus of the University of Iowa College of Law and associate professor Catherine Grosso of the Michigan State University College of Law, the study's lead authors, say that number is higher than existing levels of racism in the civilian courts.
The professors concluded that the military's efforts in 1984 to reform its capital system "failed to purge the risk of racial prejudice from the administration of the death penalty."
"There is no suggestion here that any participant in the military criminal justice system consciously and knowingly discriminated on the basis of the race of the accused or the victim," the study's authors said in their report. "However, there is substantial evidence that many actors in the American criminal justice system are unconsciously influenced by the race of defendants and their victims."
The study is set to be published late this year in the peer-reviewed Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.