Skip to comments.John Lott: Death as Deterrent
Posted on 06/20/2007 9:23:38 AM PDT by neverdem
Capital punishment clearly increases the risk to criminals of engaging in various crimes, especially murder. But does this increased risk affect criminals behavior? Last week the academic debate erupted in the media with an Associated Press article headlined "Studies: Death Penalty Discourages Crime, but even this recognition downplays the general consensus on the findings.
The media is a bit Johnny-come-lately in recognizing all the research that has been done on the death penalty over the last decade, with nine of the 12 refereed academic studies by economists finding that the death penalty saves lives.
Some academics are yet to be convinced and argue that the risk of a criminal being executed for murder is so remote that, It is hard to believe that fear of execution would be a driving force in a rational criminals calculus in modern America.
Yet, before trying to answer whether this risk to criminals is significant, lets first consider how another group that faces similar dangers reacts to the risk of death.
Academics classify being a police officer as an extremely dangerous job. In 2005, 55 police officers were murdered on the job, while another 67 were accidentally killed. With nearly 700,000 full-time, sworn law enforcement officers in the United States, the murder rate of police officers comes to 1 in 12,500, a ratio that jumps to 1 in 5,600 when we include accidental deaths.
Police officers undertake a variety of measures to reduce the dangers: They wear bullet-proof vests, develop special procedures for approaching stopped cars and in some situations officers wait for backup even when this increases the probability that a suspect will escape.
These dangers also create strain on officers marriages, contributing to a divorce rate that is twice that of the general population.
Officers undertake all these measures as a natural...
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Whether it is a deterent or not is debateable, but it does eliminate repeat offenders.
There is no evidence that any executed prisoner ever killed again.
The problem with the death penalty is that it is put off too long.
A prisoner found guilty should get an appeal in 6 months and the day after the 2nd conviction gets his/her lights put out.
Two words - Kenneth McDuff
I’m always amazed at the number of conservative who entrust the government with the power to kill.
Insightful post. Thanks.
boy, you’re out to just start something with someone on every thread you post to, aren’t you? LOL.
Now, whether a career criminal will rethink his potential crime.... I don't know. But I'd imagine once he's committed a murder, he'll have an attitude of 'they can only execute me once', and deterrance doesn't apply.
So, for criminals with nothing left to lose, it doesn't matter. For potential criminals... it may make all the difference.
Some years ago in an Italian neighborhood in New York a nun was raped and murdered. The perpetrator remained at large for a couple of weeks with dwindling hope of his apprehension. It was then reported that some organized crime figures were also on the trail. The murderer then turned himself in to the police rather than face the sure prospect of being executed by the Mob.
Just in the jails alone, in the previous 12 years or so, 2 prison guards had been killed. In the first year after no death penalty, 12 were killed. And that was just in the prisons.the attitude seemed to be, if you are already a lifer, what's the penalty for killing a guard? Another life term?
I understand, a bit, why people think society shouldn't "kill" the killers - shouldn't take a life. It's a hard question, but the only question to be answered, after the reality of no deterrent to the killers, i.e, People ARE going to die - either the killers or more innocent people. So who's lives should be spared?
Californina got the message - and reinstated the death penalty
“I’ve always considered the deterrence argument to be a diversion, wasted energy.”
Here Here! The absolute best deterrent to crime is an armed citizen. Once it becomes known that easy targets may not be so easy, the bad-lads tend to move elsewhere.
If I didn’t like to argue...why would I hang out on internet forums? ;)
This time, however, I’m serious. The death penalty leaves zero room for error. What person, let alone conservative, in their right mind trusts the government (any level, any branch) to be 100% accurate in anything?
They don't. They entrust THEMSELVES with the "power to kill". You obviously don't understand the concept of "trial by jury". No entity of American government, in and of itself, has EVER been entrusted with said power.
But the jury doesn’t determine the sentence - only the verdict. So, government is still being given the power to kill.
And you think the jury members aren't aware that the sentence could be death?? I'm OK with it.
Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what the jury of peers is supposed to prevent? The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of said crime. Reasonable doubt, however, has been abused by many defense lawyers that speak in half-truths and muddy logic and expect the jury to follow. What we end up with is innocent people being punished and guilty people getting off.
I imagine "execution" would be putting it mildly.
“Don’t do that or we’ll kill you.” Seems like it would work for me...
Love that John Lott research.