Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 36

Thread: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

  1. #1
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin Death Trip
    Posts
    15,754

    Question Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    I find this counter-intuitive, and I'm certainly going to want to do more reading before accepting it at face value, but a series of studies have shown that there is a statistically significant relationship between use of the death penalty and reduction of homicides. I toss this bloody chum into the churning waters of the Backroom. You're welcome.

    Studies say death penalty deters crime

    By ROBERT TANNER, AP National Writer Mon Jun 11, 4:53 AM ET

    Anti-death penalty forces have gained momentum in the past few years, with a moratorium in Illinois, court disputes over lethal injection in more than a half-dozen states and progress toward outright abolishment in New Jersey.

    The steady drumbeat of DNA exonerations — pointing out flaws in the justice system — has weighed against capital punishment. The moral opposition is loud, too, echoed in Europe and the rest of the industrialized world, where all but a few countries banned executions years ago.

    What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.

    The reports have horrified death penalty opponents and several scientists, who vigorously question the data and its implications.

    So far, the studies have had little impact on public policy. New Jersey's commission on the death penalty this year dismissed the body of knowledge on deterrence as "inconclusive."

    But the ferocious argument in academic circles could eventually spread to a wider audience, as it has in the past.

    "Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it," said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. "The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect."

    A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. "The results are robust, they don't really go away," he said. "I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?"

    Statistical studies like his are among a dozen papers since 2001 that capital punishment has deterrent effects. They all explore the same basic theory — if the cost of something (be it the purchase of an apple or the act of killing someone) becomes too high, people will change their behavior (forego apples or shy from murder).

    To explore the question, they look at executions and homicides, by year and by state or county, trying to tease out the impact of the death penalty on homicides by accounting for other factors, such as unemployment data and per capita income, the probabilities of arrest and conviction, and more.

    Among the conclusions:

    • Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14).

    • The Illinois moratorium on executions in 2000 led to 150 additional homicides over four years following, according to a 2006 study by professors at the University of Houston.

    • Speeding up executions would strengthen the deterrent effect. For every 2.75 years cut from time spent on death row, one murder would be prevented, according to a 2004 study by an Emory University professor.

    In 2005, there were 16,692 cases of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter nationally. There were 60 executions.

    The studies' conclusions drew a philosophical response from a well-known liberal law professor, University of Chicago's Cass Sunstein. A critic of the death penalty, in 2005 he co-authored a paper titled "Is capital punishment morally required?"

    "If it's the case that executing murderers prevents the execution of innocents by murderers, then the moral evaluation is not simple," he told The Associated Press. "Abolitionists or others, like me, who are skeptical about the death penalty haven't given adequate consideration to the possibility that innocent life is saved by the death penalty."

    Sunstein said that moral questions aside, the data needs more study.

    Critics of the findings have been vociferous.

    Some claim that the pro-deterrent studies made profound mistakes in their methodology, so their results are untrustworthy. Another critic argues that the studies wrongly count all homicides, rather than just those homicides where a conviction could bring the death penalty. And several argue that there are simply too few executions each year in the United States to make a judgment.

    "We just don't have enough data to say anything," said Justin Wolfers, an economist at the Wharton School of Business who last year co-authored a sweeping critique of several studies, and said they were "flimsy" and appeared in "second-tier journals."

    "This isn't left vs. right. This is a nerdy statistician saying it's too hard to tell," Wolfers said. "Within the advocacy community and legal scholars who are not as statistically adept, they will tell you it's still an open question. Among the small number of economists at leading universities whose bread and butter is statistical analysis, the argument is finished."

    Several authors of the pro-deterrent reports said they welcome criticism in the interests of science, but said their work is being attacked by opponents of capital punishment for their findings, not their flaws.

    "Instead of people sitting down and saying 'let's see what the data shows,' it's people sitting down and saying 'let's show this is wrong,'" said Paul Rubin, an economist and co-author of an Emory University study. "Some scientists are out seeking the truth, and some of them have a position they would like to defend."

    The latest arguments replay a 1970s debate that had an impact far beyond academic circles.

    Then, economist Isaac Ehrlich had also concluded that executions deterred future crimes. His 1975 report was the subject of mainstream news articles and public debate, and was cited in papers before the
    U.S. Supreme Court arguing for a reversal of the court's 1972 suspension of executions. (The court, in 1976, reinstated the death penalty.)

    Ultimately, a panel was set up by the
    National Academy of Sciences which decided that Ehrlich's conclusions were flawed. But the new pro-deterrent studies haven't gotten that kind of scrutiny.

    At least not yet. The academic debate, and the larger national argument about the death penalty itself — with questions about racial and economic disparities in its implementation — shows no signs of fading away.

    Steven Shavell, a professor of law and economics at Harvard Law School and co-editor-in-chief of the American Law and Economics Review, said in an e-mail exchange that his journal intends to publish several articles on the statistical studies on deterrence in an upcoming issue.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  2. #2
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    in the cloud.
    Posts
    9,007

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    I saw this study too... interesting. Personally, I've always felt the death penalty should be used very rarely and cautiously, but I don't think it would be wise to take off the table altogether. Even still, as long as it's decided democratically, state-by-state, (as opposed to judicial fiat) I can live with either.

    Here's something in the article that earns a resounding "no-duh" from me:
    Speeding up executions would strengthen the deterrent effect.
    Of course it would. But, on the flip side, the quicker the executions come, the more likely we are to see an innocent person executed.
    "Don't believe everything you read online."
    -Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    3,758

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Personally, I believe it does. I'd much rather see a serial rapist or murderer get the chair than seeing him in prison for the rest of his life (and given almost as many rights as a normal US citizen).

  4. #4
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Far up in the Magnolia Tree.
    Posts
    3,550

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    I don't think it really matters if it's a deterrent or not. I always think of the death penalty as justice being implemented, not vengeance or a 'warning to others'

  5. #5
    Hope guides me Senior Member Hosakawa Tito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Western New Yuck
    Posts
    7,914

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    It certainly guarantees that the perp won't kill again. However, I would require that significant DNA evidence tie the accused to the crime. Eye witness evidence alone is way too unreliable and subject to human error, bias, and fallibility.

    The killing doesn't stop once killers are in jail either. The victims just change to other inmates and prison staff. What's the deterrent to the already incarcerated homicidally inclined ? Whatcha gonna do C.O., throw me in jail?
    A visit to old Sparky is in order. How do you like your justice, regular or extra crispy? The Donna Payant Story
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." *Jim Elliot*

  6. #6
    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    5,812

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    I'm not sure wether the death penalty should be considered just (except for people like Milosovic and Charles Taylor) but I don't think deterrence has any relevance for determining its justice value. Saying someone deserves the death penalty is one thing, but making an example for the sake of making an example is never just.

  7. #7
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Far up in the Magnolia Tree.
    Posts
    3,550

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    If I wasn't clear, ^^^ is what I meant to say.



    Edit: Well pointed out flaw in the 'life sentence is harsher than death' argument that comes up in these debates once in awhile from the anti-death penalty side, Hosa.

    Edit2: Wow, chilling story.
    Last edited by Proletariat; 06-12-2007 at 00:35.

  8. #8
    Hope guides me Senior Member Hosakawa Tito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Western New Yuck
    Posts
    7,914

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proletariat
    If I wasn't clear, ^^^ is what I meant to say.



    Edit: Well pointed out flaw in the 'life sentence is harsher than death' argument that comes up in these debates once in awhile from the anti-death penalty side, Hosa.

    Edit2: Wow, chilling story.
    During the 2nd day at the Corrections Academy, they bused us greenhorns to this same prison, GreenHaven, to give us the tour. After we got back, 8 out of about 75 of us in that class packed their bags and went home. I couldn't blame them one bit.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." *Jim Elliot*

  9. #9
    Member Member Yun Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    622

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto...10-661,00.html

    to add some more sheep heads to the chum

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Martin Bryant's death option
    Linda Smith

    June 12, 2007 12:00am

    LONG-serving prisoners such as mass murderer Martin Bryant should be legally allowed to die instead of serving their full jail sentences, says euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke.

    Speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Tasmania, Dr Nitschke said incarcerating prisoners for life was equivalent to "eternal torture" and should not be tolerated by society.

    He said prisoners should be given the option of taking a drug to peacefully end their lives, especially Martin Bryant, who has made six suicide attempts in Tasmania's Risdon Prison and has been treated at hospital twice this year after slashing himself with razor blades.

    In previous attempts to harm himself Bryant swallowed a toothpaste tube, took an overdose of Rohypnol, and tried to choke on bandages.

    "Locking prisoners like Martin Bryant away is all to do with punishment, and if you punish them forever you are effectively torturing them forever," said Dr Nitschke.

    "People say you should not let that bastard off the hook so lightly. They want to see revenge forever and they want to see that revenge played out in front of them.

    "But let's be honest about the fact that when we put people in prison forever, it's tantamount to torture. What we're doing to people like Martin Bryant is punishing them forever.

    "And I don't know if I feel terribly comfortable with the notion of endless revenge."

    Dr Nitschke said there was no denying that Bryant -- whose prison papers were marked "never to be released" after he received 35 life sentences for killing 35 people at Port Arthur 11 years ago -- had done terrible things.

    But he still deserved the right to end his suffering.

    "He's done evil and horrible things and deserves a huge incarceration," Dr Nitschke said. "But either there should be a plan for his rehabilitation and release or infinite incarceration plus or minus the chance to leave with death."

    He said there would need to be safeguards, including assessments of a prisoner's physical and mental wellbeing before assisted suicide could occur.

    And it was not intended as a quick fix for prisoners who were having adjustment problems in their early days in prison.

    But he believed that in some cases it would be suitable.

    While he has never spoken to Bryant, Dr Nitschke has had contact with other prisoners on the issue of euthanasia.


    Alot of people die who deserve to live, and some are allowed to live who deserve to die

    are we really believing this rehabilitation BS, or are we punishing - lets cut the BS

    I mean your happy to let a rehabilitated paedophile mind your kids at the playground - or happy to let that mass murdering rapist fix the taps at your house while your at work - mmm thought so - lets be honest once these creatures are identified I want them kept far away from the people I care about, and dead theres no chance of escape and costs less tax.
    Last edited by Yun Dog; 06-12-2007 at 09:08.
    Quote Originally Posted by pevergreen View Post
    its pevergeren.

  10. #10
    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    4,902

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    I do know that when the harsher punishment disappeared in Sweden, both the crime rate and murder rate dropped, so using that data would say that capital punishment would increase the murder rate.

    What I'm getting at is without draconian laws and a high resolution (the right word for this please?) rate, the effect of capital punishment of the murder rates are so low that it's statistically insignificant.

    It's impossible to extrapolate the data either, as I doubt anyone thinks that 1.000 executions a year will keep the murder rate to about 1000 a year.
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

    Project PYRRHO, Specimen 46, Vat 7
    Activity Recorded M.Y. 2302.22467
    TERMINATION OF SPECIMEN ADVISED

  11. #11
    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    The dark side
    Posts
    5,383

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    I find this counter-intuitive, and I'm certainly going to want to do more reading before accepting it at face value, but a series of studies have shown that there is a statistically significant relationship between use of the death penalty and reduction of homicides. I toss this bloody chum into the churning waters of the Backroom. You're welcome.

    Studies say death penalty deters crime

    By ROBERT TANNER, AP National Writer Mon Jun 11, 4:53 AM ET

    Anti-death penalty forces have gained momentum in the past few years, with a moratorium in Illinois, court disputes over lethal injection in more than a half-dozen states and progress toward outright abolishment in New Jersey.

    The steady drumbeat of DNA exonerations — pointing out flaws in the justice system — has weighed against capital punishment. The moral opposition is loud, too, echoed in Europe and the rest of the industrialized world, where all but a few countries banned executions years ago.

    What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.

    The reports have horrified death penalty opponents and several scientists, who vigorously question the data and its implications.

    So far, the studies have had little impact on public policy. New Jersey's commission on the death penalty this year dismissed the body of knowledge on deterrence as "inconclusive."

    But the ferocious argument in academic circles could eventually spread to a wider audience, as it has in the past.

    "Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it," said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. "The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect."

    A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. "The results are robust, they don't really go away," he said. "I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?"

    Statistical studies like his are among a dozen papers since 2001 that capital punishment has deterrent effects. They all explore the same basic theory — if the cost of something (be it the purchase of an apple or the act of killing someone) becomes too high, people will change their behavior (forego apples or shy from murder).

    To explore the question, they look at executions and homicides, by year and by state or county, trying to tease out the impact of the death penalty on homicides by accounting for other factors, such as unemployment data and per capita income, the probabilities of arrest and conviction, and more.

    Among the conclusions:

    • Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14).

    • The Illinois moratorium on executions in 2000 led to 150 additional homicides over four years following, according to a 2006 study by professors at the University of Houston.

    • Speeding up executions would strengthen the deterrent effect. For every 2.75 years cut from time spent on death row, one murder would be prevented, according to a 2004 study by an Emory University professor.

    In 2005, there were 16,692 cases of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter nationally. There were 60 executions.

    The studies' conclusions drew a philosophical response from a well-known liberal law professor, University of Chicago's Cass Sunstein. A critic of the death penalty, in 2005 he co-authored a paper titled "Is capital punishment morally required?"

    "If it's the case that executing murderers prevents the execution of innocents by murderers, then the moral evaluation is not simple," he told The Associated Press. "Abolitionists or others, like me, who are skeptical about the death penalty haven't given adequate consideration to the possibility that innocent life is saved by the death penalty."

    Sunstein said that moral questions aside, the data needs more study.

    Critics of the findings have been vociferous.

    Some claim that the pro-deterrent studies made profound mistakes in their methodology, so their results are untrustworthy. Another critic argues that the studies wrongly count all homicides, rather than just those homicides where a conviction could bring the death penalty. And several argue that there are simply too few executions each year in the United States to make a judgment.

    "We just don't have enough data to say anything," said Justin Wolfers, an economist at the Wharton School of Business who last year co-authored a sweeping critique of several studies, and said they were "flimsy" and appeared in "second-tier journals."

    "This isn't left vs. right. This is a nerdy statistician saying it's too hard to tell," Wolfers said. "Within the advocacy community and legal scholars who are not as statistically adept, they will tell you it's still an open question. Among the small number of economists at leading universities whose bread and butter is statistical analysis, the argument is finished."

    Several authors of the pro-deterrent reports said they welcome criticism in the interests of science, but said their work is being attacked by opponents of capital punishment for their findings, not their flaws.

    "Instead of people sitting down and saying 'let's see what the data shows,' it's people sitting down and saying 'let's show this is wrong,'" said Paul Rubin, an economist and co-author of an Emory University study. "Some scientists are out seeking the truth, and some of them have a position they would like to defend."

    The latest arguments replay a 1970s debate that had an impact far beyond academic circles.

    Then, economist Isaac Ehrlich had also concluded that executions deterred future crimes. His 1975 report was the subject of mainstream news articles and public debate, and was cited in papers before the
    U.S. Supreme Court arguing for a reversal of the court's 1972 suspension of executions. (The court, in 1976, reinstated the death penalty.)

    Ultimately, a panel was set up by the
    National Academy of Sciences which decided that Ehrlich's conclusions were flawed. But the new pro-deterrent studies haven't gotten that kind of scrutiny.

    At least not yet. The academic debate, and the larger national argument about the death penalty itself — with questions about racial and economic disparities in its implementation — shows no signs of fading away.

    Steven Shavell, a professor of law and economics at Harvard Law School and co-editor-in-chief of the American Law and Economics Review, said in an e-mail exchange that his journal intends to publish several articles on the statistical studies on deterrence in an upcoming issue.
    Seemed interesting at first, then I noticed a major fallacy, in that these studies are done exclusively in the USA, not comparing the results with other countries, and they are also restricted to a short period; only the most recent 5-10 years of history. What we may draw as a conclusion is that in the last 5-10 years, only in America, there is a correlation between death penalty and reduced homicide. The lack of greater time and geography perspective means there's not any material to suggest a causality. In fact, the USA and China, notorious death penalty nations, quite conveniently have the most homicides in the world.

    Edit: thanks Ironside, that's the type of data I mean
    Last edited by Rodion Romanovich; 06-12-2007 at 11:18.
    Under construction...

    "In countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Norway, there is no separation of church and state." - HoreTore

  12. #12
    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    The dark side
    Posts
    5,383

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yun al-Din
    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto...10-661,00.html

    to add some more sheep heads to the chum

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Martin Bryant's death option
    Linda Smith

    June 12, 2007 12:00am

    LONG-serving prisoners such as mass murderer Martin Bryant should be legally allowed to die instead of serving their full jail sentences, says euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke.

    Speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Tasmania, Dr Nitschke said incarcerating prisoners for life was equivalent to "eternal torture" and should not be tolerated by society.

    He said prisoners should be given the option of taking a drug to peacefully end their lives, especially Martin Bryant, who has made six suicide attempts in Tasmania's Risdon Prison and has been treated at hospital twice this year after slashing himself with razor blades.

    In previous attempts to harm himself Bryant swallowed a toothpaste tube, took an overdose of Rohypnol, and tried to choke on bandages.

    "Locking prisoners like Martin Bryant away is all to do with punishment, and if you punish them forever you are effectively torturing them forever," said Dr Nitschke.

    "People say you should not let that bastard off the hook so lightly. They want to see revenge forever and they want to see that revenge played out in front of them.

    "But let's be honest about the fact that when we put people in prison forever, it's tantamount to torture. What we're doing to people like Martin Bryant is punishing them forever.

    "And I don't know if I feel terribly comfortable with the notion of endless revenge."

    Dr Nitschke said there was no denying that Bryant -- whose prison papers were marked "never to be released" after he received 35 life sentences for killing 35 people at Port Arthur 11 years ago -- had done terrible things.

    But he still deserved the right to end his suffering.

    "He's done evil and horrible things and deserves a huge incarceration," Dr Nitschke said. "But either there should be a plan for his rehabilitation and release or infinite incarceration plus or minus the chance to leave with death."

    He said there would need to be safeguards, including assessments of a prisoner's physical and mental wellbeing before assisted suicide could occur.

    And it was not intended as a quick fix for prisoners who were having adjustment problems in their early days in prison.

    But he believed that in some cases it would be suitable.

    While he has never spoken to Bryant, Dr Nitschke has had contact with other prisoners on the issue of euthanasia.


    Alot of people die who deserve to live, and some are allowed to live who deserve to die

    are we really believing this rehabilitation BS, or are we punishing - lets cut the BS

    I mean your happy to let a rehabilitated paedophile mind your kids at the playground - or happy to let that mass murdering rapist fix the taps at your house while your at work - mmm thought so - lets be honest once these creatures are identified I want them kept far away from the people I care about, and dead theres no chance of escape and costs less tax.
    I understand your argument, and agree with your theoretical ideas, but disagree to the death penalty as a final solution to crime. Longer prison sentences for pedophiliacs, for instance, would solve the problem without risking to murder innocent people in the name of "justice". Another solution would be that pedophiliacs are not allowed out of prison or rehabilitation before life sentence in jail, unless they wear tracking device and regularly take chemical castration medicine. With tracking device, you have irrefutable proof against them if they repeat the crime AND you can have a legal system which says they only get one chance with tracking device, then next time have to remain in jail until they die. With chemical castration added to that, they have no possibility of committing such crimes.
    Under construction...

    "In countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Norway, there is no separation of church and state." - HoreTore

  13. #13
    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    The dark side
    Posts
    5,383

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosakawa Tito
    I would require that significant DNA evidence tie the accused to the crime. Eye witness evidence alone is way too unreliable and subject to human error, bias, and fallibility.
    Unfortunately, DNA evidence is also subject to error, bias and fallibility. It's not very difficult to plant DNA evidence, in fact human beings lose about 40 hairs a day, which are easy to pick up and plant on a victim.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosakawa Tito
    The killing doesn't stop once killers are in jail either. The victims just change to other inmates and prison staff.
    Lack of prison security is a problem in itself, not a justification for death penalty. Prison security must be solved anyway, because there will always be inmates who are in jail because they're poor and couldn't pay a fine, or wrongfully accused people. It's the duty of the state to protect these from danger when their freedom and liberty is temporarily stolen in the name of justice.
    Under construction...

    "In countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Norway, there is no separation of church and state." - HoreTore

  14. #14
    L'Etranger Senior Member Banquo's Ghost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hunting the Snark, a long way from Tipperary...
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Most members know that I am implacably opposed to the death penalty, but the information posted bears reflection.

    The deterrent effect of capital punishment is very tough to measure (in the same sense as measuring any decision-making process that leads to crime) but one objection I would be interested in exploring is the historical one.

    Up until the middle of the nineteenth century, Europe (and especially the UK) executed enormous numbers of people for comparatively trivial crimes such as stealing. Yet this draconian regime did not ensure crime was at a low level during those times. (Clearly, we cannot easily gauge what the crime level would have been without the hangings, but when almost any crime might get one hanged, one would have thought people would have considered committing an offense a very poor life choice. This may be mirrored in modern China, where capital punishment is applied for a much wider range of crimes than murder, and yet criminals do not appear to be deterred).

    Whilst there are obviously variables such as the dire consequences of poverty (in itself a death sentence in many cases) and the much lower likelihood of being caught, I'd be interested in views on why such brutal applications of the death penalty did not drastically reduce offending.
    "If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this one."
    Albert Camus "Noces"

  15. #15
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    15,617

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by LegioXXXUlpiaVictrix
    and regularly take chemical castration medicine.
    In that case I promote a final solution, it's more secure, needs no controls and should be cheaper. It's meant to be final anyway I guess, so why spend a lot of money on chemicals?


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

  16. #16
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The EUSSR
    Posts
    30,680

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    In that case I promote a final solution, it's more secure, needs no controls and should be cheaper. It's meant to be final anyway I guess, so why spend a lot of money on chemicals?
    chemicals and final solutions has proved to be a perfect match though.

    Anyway, why are we so surprised, you can only get death penalty for prewhateveritscalled murder right, of course they have considered getting juiced when caught.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    I think that if you are crazy enough to commit a crime which carries the death penalty, nothing is going to stop you from doing it.
    I support Israel

  18. #18
    Hope guides me Senior Member Hosakawa Tito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Western New Yuck
    Posts
    7,914

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Banquo's Ghost
    Most members know that I am implacably opposed to the death penalty, but the information posted bears reflection.

    The deterrent effect of capital punishment is very tough to measure (in the same sense as measuring any decision-making process that leads to crime) but one objection I would be interested in exploring is the historical one.

    Up until the middle of the nineteenth century, Europe (and especially the UK) executed enormous numbers of people for comparatively trivial crimes such as stealing. Yet this draconian regime did not ensure crime was at a low level during those times. (Clearly, we cannot easily gauge what the crime level would have been without the hangings, but when almost any crime might get one hanged, one would have thought people would have considered committing an offense a very poor life choice. This may be mirrored in modern China, where capital punishment is applied for a much wider range of crimes than murder, and yet criminals do not appear to be deterred).

    Whilst there are obviously variables such as the dire consequences of poverty (in itself a death sentence in many cases) and the much lower likelihood of being caught, I'd be interested in views on why such brutal applications of the death penalty did not drastically reduce offending.
    From my experience in conversations with those incarcerated for murder, the majority didn't even consider the consequences (passion of the moment) or were in such a miserable emotional state they didn't care, feeling their own death to be a release from their misery. The calculating, premeditated ones usually have that feeling of invincibility and believe they are too smart to get caught. Which is why I am skeptical about the deterrent value, but support it's use in certain cases as justice served.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." *Jim Elliot*

  19. #19
    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    The dark side
    Posts
    5,383

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    In that case I promote a final solution, it's more secure, needs no controls and should be cheaper. It's meant to be final anyway I guess, so why spend a lot of money on chemicals?
    No, it can be aborted if it turns out the victim was innocent. He also gets a choice to stay in jail.

    Anyway, that was an example, and not necessarily my opinion on how the law should do it. Personally, I feel that the communities with low sentences are often more successful at fighting the majority of criminals, whereas they fail miserably at dealing with the serial killers and serial rapers. On average though, this means lower crime statistics because the "light" criminals are much more numerous than the repeated criminals. I'd personally like to see a sound combination of these two systems, in which the low sentence system is the basis, and certain unambigious rules are formed to determine when the system switches to harsher sentences. The best combination might be to just stick to the low sentences for the first offenses, then increase the sentences if the crime is repeated. AFAIK no country is using this sound combination at the moment, but my hypothesis is that this system would be the optimal in reducing the amount of crimes.
    Last edited by Rodion Romanovich; 06-12-2007 at 13:57.
    Under construction...

    "In countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Norway, there is no separation of church and state." - HoreTore

  20. #20
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    15,617

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by LegioXXXUlpiaVictrix
    No, it can be aborted if it turns out the victim was innocent. He also gets a choice to stay in jail.
    The problem is, it can also be aborted if the criminal needs another victim. The damage done to the victim can never be aborted...
    Though that depends on how long those chemicals last and whether he is forced to get them under supervision. Haven't heard of cases of criminal paedophiles who were found innocent later on.


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

  21. #21
    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    9,651

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    Haven't heard of cases of criminal paedophiles who were found innocent later on.
    There's a fairly big scandal rumbling in the UK over Operation Ore or some such. The US provided the Uk police with credit card details used for nasty websites. But there's pretty good evidence that many were cases of wholesale id theft (eg lots of "users" paid but never viewed the site - basically the site owners were using stolen cards to get rich). The police were not computer savy enough to realise this and besmirched the good name of quite a few victims of identity theft.

    There were also a number of child abuse cases where hundreds of parents were accused of doing nasty things to their kids on clinical evidence that now looks ropey.

  22. #22
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin Death Trip
    Posts
    15,754

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosakawa Tito
    From my experience in conversations with those incarcerated for murder, the majority didn't even consider the consequences (passion of the moment) or were in such a miserable emotional state they didn't care, feeling their own death to be a release from their misery.
    That's what I figured, and that's why I called the results "counter-intuitive." I find it very hard to believe that criminals, who already have a difficult time getting cause to meet effect, would on any level consider the status of their state's capital punishment before committing a murder.

    So when is a deterrent not a deterrent? Or rather, when is a non-deterrent a deterrent? And how would that function?
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  23. #23
    Filthy Rich Member Odin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Just West of Boston
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    I've always believed that the death penalty is the ultimate price to pay for a crime. Removing it as an option, removes it as a deterrant. Knowing that its a possibility to recieve this sentence probably does little in the way of detering anyone from committing a serious crime.

    But it may deter one or two, and in the context of "does it work" we wouldnt know if it were not available.

    The report dosent surprise me really, it cites 3-18 probable lives saved with it as a deterrant.

    The question for me has always been the issue of human error involved in persuing capital punishment.
    There are few things more annoying than some idiot who has never done anything trying to say definitively how something should be done.

    Sua Sponte

  24. #24
    Has a real big Member Kuni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    ^ perhaps it is realized in the unconscious. when there is a real chance you will effectively end your own existence by commiting that crime, maybe the unconscious realizes this and is deterred.
    before you ask a RTW modding question make sure you have done these things:

    1. At least read these two stickies in the Modding Questions forum: Introduction and Welcome
    2. used the search function (upper right corner of your screen) to know if your Q has been asked before.
    3. browsed the Modding Answers subforum, and the Scriptorium.


  25. #25
    Oni Member Samurai Waki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Portland, Ore.
    Posts
    3,925
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    I suppose in order for the Death Penalty to be an effective deterrent to crime, You would need to enlist methods of execution similar to Vlad Tepes. Of course I'm more concerned about Justice being done effectively, rather than how the Judgment is carried out.

  26. #26
    Member Member Yun Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    622

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by LegioXXXUlpiaVictrix
    I understand your argument, and agree with your theoretical ideas, but disagree to the death penalty as a final solution to crime. Longer prison sentences for pedophiliacs, for instance, would solve the problem without risking to murder innocent people in the name of "justice". Another solution would be that pedophiliacs are not allowed out of prison or rehabilitation before life sentence in jail, unless they wear tracking device and regularly take chemical castration medicine. With tracking device, you have irrefutable proof against them if they repeat the crime AND you can have a legal system which says they only get one chance with tracking device, then next time have to remain in jail until they die. With chemical castration added to that, they have no possibility of committing such crimes.
    I pretty much agree with you, but I wanted to pose the question, and reading your reply, I will pose it again... what are we doing rehabilitating? or punishing?

    Cause if we are rehabilitating then we need to look at the numbers reoffending and judge if its working. And even if it is working are public opinions really wanting these people rehabilitated or just put away. I mean would you be happy having the chem castratrated paedophile looking after your kids - I wouldnt even need to think to give an answer.

    Then if we are punishing it puts a whole different slant on the thing - we are not expecting these people to stop committing their crimes, therefore violent offenders would never be released - I know it sounds callouse, but I dont want to work a single extra day to keep one of these creatures alive, protected, fed and on the internet etc etc. Can you see the hypocracy that a person in a western country can commit a horrible crime and live a better life than someone born in africa who has saved lives. As far as Im concerned there are limited resources on this planet - the apes that cant play nicely with the other apes are a waste of non renewable resources and therefore should be humainly removed.

    Let me put it another way - One of the 9/11 terrorists (had they lived)- should be kept for prosperity? If you were an alien observing humans - and observe that certain individuals were kept separate from the other apes, protected, fed, clothed, educated - you would rightly think these apes were the most highly valued and prized individuals, kept safe from the random misfortunes and dangers of life.

    Eventually the scarity of resources will overide the people who love to be victims

    So you suggest longer prison terms and castration - so what are we doing there - rehabilitating or torturing (as in my article) - and if we are torturing wouldnt the 'HUMAIN' thing be to put these cretures down quickly and painlessly
    Quote Originally Posted by pevergreen View Post
    its pevergeren.

  27. #27
    American since 2012 Senior Member AntiochusIII's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Lalaland
    Posts
    3,125

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    When I think about the criminal justice system, I always prefer to think about how the process -- from the crime, to police, and the trial -- gets people there than what people will receive anyway, unless it's outrageously out of bounds of what I'd consider "common sense," like letting a serial murderer out on parole or executing a bread-thief.

    Personally, If I'm going to kill or rape, I doubt my state of mind then would even remotely register a deterrent effect from "I could be executed if caught" at all; it really doesn't take a normal person in a normal state of mind to commit such crimes. At most, it would focus on "I would be caught," which in itself I think is as far as deterrence can go.

    An interesting side note, though, is that the most popular method of Capital Punishment in the USA, the injection, is under serious fire at the moment. People argue, and I'm halfway convinced, that it is a cruel punishment which inflicts pain before the incarcerated is killed. I'm also not a little disturbed that such a mainstream method has barely been studied since its adoption en mass for more than two decades.

    So my question is: Assuming that deterrence works, is inflicting pain an acceptable deterrence?

  28. #28
    Thread killer Member Rodion Romanovich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    The dark side
    Posts
    5,383

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yun al-Din
    I pretty much agree with you, but I wanted to pose the question, and reading your reply, I will pose it again... what are we doing rehabilitating? or punishing?
    Neither, we're doing what is believed to reduce the amount of brutal crimes committed to innocents individuals as much as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yun al-Din
    If you were an alien observing humans - and observe that certain individuals were kept separate from the other apes, protected, fed, clothed, educated - you would rightly think these apes were the most highly valued and prized individuals, kept safe from the random misfortunes and dangers of life.
    Prison is still pretty painful. Those that have been there wouldn't want to go back. And in societies where they're given support to change their lives, they seldom do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yun al-Din
    So you suggest longer prison terms and castration - so what are we doing there - rehabilitating or torturing (as in my article) - and if we are torturing wouldnt the 'HUMAIN' thing be to put these cretures down quickly and painlessly
    This was not my opinion, but an example.
    Under construction...

    "In countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Norway, there is no separation of church and state." - HoreTore

  29. #29
    Cynic Senior Member sapi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    4,970

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    When I think about the criminal justice system, I always prefer to think about how the process -- from the crime, to police, and the trial -- gets people there than what people will receive anyway, unless it's outrageously out of bounds of what I'd consider "common sense," like letting a serial murderer out on parole or executing a bread-thief.

    Personally, If I'm going to kill or rape, I doubt my state of mind then would even remotely register a deterrent effect from "I could be executed if caught" at all; it really doesn't take a normal person in a normal state of mind to commit such crimes. At most, it would focus on "I would be caught," which in itself I think is as far as deterrence can go.
    True - but if it works in just one case, is that enough?

    An interesting side note, though, is that the most popular method of Capital Punishment in the USA, the injection, is under serious fire at the moment. People argue, and I'm halfway convinced, that it is a cruel punishment which inflicts pain before the incarcerated is killed. I'm also not a little disturbed that such a mainstream method has barely been studied since its adoption en mass for more than two decades.

    So my question is: Assuming that deterrence works, is inflicting pain an acceptable deterrence?
    They're dead; they won't care.

    The deterrence is not the pain, it's the killing, as horrible as that may sound.

    The question is, can using a long-term stay in a secure, relatively save environment with free food and cable TV really be seen as a deterrence?

    I doubt it...
    From wise men, O Lord, protect us -anon
    The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions, a statistic -Stalin
    We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area -UK military spokesman Major Mike Shearer

  30. #30
    American since 2012 Senior Member AntiochusIII's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Lalaland
    Posts
    3,125

    Default Re: Death Penalty Really Does Work as a Deterrent?

    Quote Originally Posted by sapi
    True - but if it works in just one case, is that enough?
    In principle, my opinion is, yes. But in a related principle, if there is also just one case where the punishment is inflicted upon an innocent, a punishment that even partial redress is impossible -- is that enough to say no?

    I tend to believe that the Western justice system base itself on protecting the innocent from wrongly inflicted "justice" much more than comparative systems.
    Quote Originally Posted by sapi
    They're dead; they won't care.

    The deterrence is not the pain, it's the killing, as horrible as that may sound.
    I based that side note on the USA's Bill of Rights; specifically, the 8th Amendment. The "cruel and unusual punishment" clause is fundamental both legally and morally in defining what is acceptable punishment in the USA and what is not.

    Inflicting pain, even if the people will eventually die of it quickly enough, is considered a "cruel" punishment -- legally and morally.

    I agree, though; if there's a deterrence effect at all I suspect the question of life or death would come before the question of pain.
    Quote Originally Posted by sapi
    The question is, can using a long-term stay in a secure, relatively save environment with free food and cable TV really be seen as a deterrence?

    I doubt it...
    Most people don't think of jail that way, quite frankly. Besides, in the USA, jail isn't such a cakewalk; inmate security is, after all, a big problem.

    That and the average human -- someone who's more likely to consider the deterrence effect -- tend to value their liberty to move around freely pretty highly enough. Unless truly desperate, I for one would find the "comfort" of jail to pale in comparison.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO