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The Legitimacy Question Surrounding the Death Penalty - Research Paper Example

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The paper contains the articles which are statistically and rhetorically interesting in terms of what it means for the death penalty debate. Each contains statistics and an interpretation of those statistics in terms of how the death penalty affects rates of violent crime in the United States…
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The Legitimacy Question Surrounding the Death Penalty
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"The Legitimacy Question Surrounding the Death Penalty"

Download file to see previous pages The literature on the topic of the death penalty reflects the polar nature of the debate, but oddly, both sides utilize statistics to support their respective positions. This is odd because the cliché “statistics don’t lie” does not seem to apply. However, primarily, the problem is how both sides use their statistics. An argument such as “death penalty deters future murders”, after all, cannot both be true and be false at the same time. However, a quick glance at the literature shows it is indeed possible for both a claim and its negation to find statistical support. Additionally, research is often done into the statistics of death penalty with a specific argument in mind. For instance, two very important articles in the history of the debate try to give an answer to whether there is a racial bias against certain minorities in how the death penalty is handled. 
The first article was written by Isaac Ehrlich and published in 1975 dealing primarily with the deterrent effect of the death penalty. In it, he remarks that the deterrent argument against the death penalty is one of many arguments put favor in support of the practice: namely, that the thought the death penalty will make a potential killer “think twice” about committing a violent crime. This is an “economic” approach and defense to murder, which justifies the incentive-based approach Ehrlich takes in analyzing the deterrence effect. The model he creates is designed to represent an economic model of murder to test against available data for validation. The model he creates is designed to represent an economic model of murder to test against available data for validation. The model he generates during the course of his article analyzes earning opportunities, employment, the probability of apprehension, the probability of conviction, and frequency of violent crime against actual violent crime rates.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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