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The deterance the death penalty offers - Research Paper Example

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Name: Student Number: The deterrence the death penalty offers There is a basic assumption that man, by nature, is afraid to lose his life. In psychology, some theoretical concepts suggest that punishment reinforces human behavior. This leads us to the idea that there is associated learning when punishment is implemented…
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The deterance the death penalty offers
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Download file to see previous pages The work at hand presents the point that death penalty indeed has the capability to control the prevalence of murder and other related capital crimes. Critical analysis of the available literature concerning the issue is included. Anti-death-penalty proponents like John Blume, a law professor with the Cornell Death Penalty Project, concludes that there is no credible evidence to support deterrence of murder and capital crimes with the implementation of death penalty. The main justification of their points stands on the ground that “If deterrence worked, how could Texas which executes a dozen inmates a year, have a higher murder rate than Colorado, which has executed one murderer in more than four decades?” (Booth). In 2009 survey, more than 88% of criminologists believe that the death penalty was not a deterrent to murder, a result showing strong link to the consistent lower murder rate of non-Death penalty states compared to those that are employing the Death penalty (The Death Penalty and Deterrence). Daniel Nagin, expert in criminology and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University, said in an interview, “The studies have reached widely varying, even contradictory, conclusions. Some studies conclude that executions save large numbers of lives; others conclude that executions actually increase homicides; and still others conclude that executions have no effect on homicide rate” (National Journal staff). In 2002, part of the annual Texas Crime Poll revealed that majority of the respondents showed support for the death penalty, but a substantial number of them also showed lack confidence on its use while others supported moratorium on executions (Vollum and Longmire 521). After concluding a research study that says each execution saves five lives, H. Naci Mocan, an economist at Louisiana State University, said, “I personally am opposed to the death penalty, but my research shows that there is deterrent effect” (Liptak). Mocan adds, “Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it. The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect” (Tanner). However, legal scholars refuted this idea, specifying the point that theories of economists do not apply to the violent world of crime and punishment, as they might be linked to faulty premises, insufficient data and flawed methodologies (Liptak). This is all the same point which by Fox and Radelet state against the research study of Ehrlich and Layson. The measurement of the deterrent effect of death penalty has been critically considered from another wider point of view when Ehrlich’s and Layson’s works reveal the importance of using the economic perspective on the issue by employing economic model, which could show further that every execution may possibly deter as many as 18 homicides (Fox and Radelet 30). However, Ehrlich’s economic model is said to have failed to provide conclusive evidence supporting the deterrent effect of capital punishment (Chan and Oxley 1). However, Fox and Radelet scrutinized Ehrlich’s and Layson’s methodology by understanding the flaws involved in using econometric model, data quality, time period, negative bias, and aggregation bias and even the misinterpretation of Layson’s findings. Unconvinced of the above general claim, the proponents of the death penalty argued that the murder rate could ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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