Nicholas J. Krob
In its 1972 Position Statement on Trans-Racial Adoption, the National Association of Black Social Workers stated, “We affirm the inviolable position of Black children in Black families where they belong physically, psychologically and culturally in order that they receive the total sense of themselves and develop a sound projection of their future.” The organization continued on to say, “We stand firmly . . . on conviction that a white home is not a suitable placement for Black children and contend it is totally unnecessary.” Despite these statements being over 40 years old, the content of the arguments has remained. Decades later, the organization has not wavered from this emphasis, and their statements represent a sentiment shared by many people throughout the country. Are they right? This Paper explores the issue of transracial adoption in America to show why the answer, ultimately, is no.
Mitigating evidence comes into play during the penalty phase of a capital punishment trial. If the “judge or jury has found [the] defendant guilty of an offense that is punishable by” death during the first trial, often called the guilt/innocence phase, then a second trial, often called the penalty phase, is conducted to determine the appropriate sentence. “[E]very jurisdiction that authorizes capital punishment now requires two trials.” During this second trial, mitigating evidence may be presented and is weighed against the aggravating factors found during the earlier guilt/innocence trial to determine whether the defendant should be sentenced to life without parole or death.