image
image
18 May, 2021

Cruel & unusual punishment: South Carolina’s racist executions

icon
"In the midst of a national reckoning around systemic racism, our Governor ensured that South Carolina's death penalty — a system rooted in racial terror and lynchings — is maintained," Knaack said in a statement. Nineteen of the 37 inmates currently on the state's death row are Black.

"New death penalty law makes inmates pick electric chair or firing squad in South Carolina." - CBS

Nineteen of the 37 inmates currently on the state's death row are Black. "In the midst of a national reckoning around systemic racism, our Governor ensured that South Carolina's death penalty — a system rooted in racial terror and lynchings — is maintained," said Frank Knaack, executive director of the SC chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

What's driving such cruel & unusual punishment? Is there a pattern between lynchings of Black victims after the Civil War and current Republican incarceration and execution policies? Where does South Carolina rank in the civilized world in terms of incarcerations? How many of SC inmates are Black as compared to their percentage of the population? What can people do to bring about a criminal justice system that's fair to all?

This DemLabs StoryMap answers these questions with data from The Prison Policy Institute, The VERA Institute of Justice and the Death Policy Information Center.

New death penalty law makes inmates pick electric chair or firing squad in South Carolina

Designing this StoryMap

DemLabs created this digital story was with the free StoryMaps app. It can be skimmed in less than a minute or researched closely on either a phone or laptop. It includes seven infographics, maps, four videos and numerous links to more resources.

The StoryMap can be freely shared with this URL https://arcg.is/LG45T or embedded in a website with this code:
< iframe src="https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/0edd2c78de924e99a4e3011560fcb6fb" width="100%" height="500px" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen allow="geolocation">

Racist incarcerations and executions

1. Start with the background. "The death penalty is the direct descendant of slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow-segregation. With the continuing police and white vigilante killings of Black citizens, it is important understand the outsized role the death penalty plays as an agent and validator of racial discrimination." - Death Penalty Information Center

2. Keep it simple. There are 2.3 million people are locked up in more than 6,000 correctional facilities operated by thousands of agencies according to the PPI. That's a lot of information for anyone to digest. We chose three charts with details on South Carolina's incarceration rate, what percentage of its inmates were Black and details on a typical county. There are a mind-boggling 471 inmates for every 100,000 residents in predominantly Black Florence County, SC.

3. Make it interactive. We wanted to let readers see for themselves the patterns between Lynchings of Black Victims (1883-1940) and Executions of Black Defendants (1972-2020)

The patterns between Lynchings of Black Victims (1883-1940) and Executions of Black Defendants (1972-2020)

4. Make it visual. We included a number of videos in the StoryMap to emphasize the systemic racism in the criminal justice system, including this one from the VERA Institute of Justice. An editorial cartoon from Political Cartoons is also included in the StoryMap.

The systemic racism in the criminal justice system, including this one from the VERA Institute of Justice.
Systemic racism in Republican policies for executions.

5. A call to action. The StoryMap includes links for more information and donation links to The Prison Policy Institute, The VERA Institute of Justice and the Death Policy Information Center. There is link that encourages readers to register to vote in order to "Change racist execution policies. Register to vote and elect candidates aligned with your values."

TakeAway: 'A well informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny' - Thomas Jefferson.
Use a StoryMap to present the facts, make them understandable and include a call to action.

Deepak
DemLabs

Image credit: Truth Uncensored

case study image
22 May’ 2024

How much is your life worth? Mapping gun lobby donations vs. number of shooting victims.

Gun violence surges. Republicans push to cripple ATF, the agency that monitors gun makers! What gives? When in doubt, follow the money. How much does the...

case study image
19 May’ 2024

You can RUN for office but you can’t HIDE your abortion bans

Republicans try to run from their abortion bans "SC Republican says she wouldn’t punish abortions. A bill she supported allowed for death penalty" - The State"Abortion...

case study image
19 May’ 2024

President Biden’s Insulin Price Cuts: Mapping Where It’s Helping the Most People

The Cost of Insulin Takes Center Stage "President Biden’s policy was a godsend because it enshrines into law that Americans on Medicare, the federal health insurance...

case study image
18 May’ 2024

Why’s it so hard to get homeowner’s insurance? Follow the money!

There are none so blind, as those who will not see. Climate change causes weather disasters. Insurers cannot afford to write policies. Why do Republicans deny...

case study image
11 May’ 2024

Outsiders with Deep Pockets: GOP’s Super Rich Carpetbagging Senate Candidates

Several top GOP Senate candidates have million-dollar homes outside of the states they're running in. "Senate Republicans' roster of recruits is full of carpetbaggers who don't know...

case study image
7 May’ 2024

Reach more people with Gamification: Could you be a HANDMAID ENFORCER?

Don't just preach to the choir. Use gamification to reach and engage more people. How do you get your message to people who aren't necessarily interested...

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]