Summary: H.R.4442 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4442. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (04/21/1988)

Racial Justice Act of 1988 - Prohibits the imposition or the carrying out of the death penalty in a racially disproportionate pattern. States that a racially disproportionate pattern occurs when the penalty of death is imposed: (1) more frequently upon persons of one race; or (2) more frequently as punishment for crimes against persons of one race.

Provides that ordinary methods of statistical proof shall suffice to establish a racially disproportionate pattern. States that it shall not be necessary to show discriminatory motive, intent, or purpose on the part of any individual or institution.

Establishes the requirements for a prima facie showing that a racially disproportionate pattern exists. States that the Government may rebut a prima facie showing by establishing by clear and convincing evidence that identifiable nondiscriminatory factors explain the racial disparities constituting the disproportion.

Requires any State or Federal entity that provides for the imposition of the death penalty to collect and maintain pertinent data on the charging, disposition, and sentencing patterns for all cases of death-eligible crimes.

Provides for the appointment of counsel for all indigent clients (and the furnishing of investigative and other services) for habeas corpus actions arising under this Act. Provides that no State court determination on the merits of a factual issue pertinent to a claim under this Act shall be presumed to be correct unless: (1) the State has collected and maintained the necessary death penalty data; and (2) the determination was made in a court proceeding where the defendant was afforded his rights required under this Act.

States that the failure to raise such a claim before the enactment of this Act shall not bar future claims.