Science lacking on whether death penalty deters murder

Apr 18, 2012
Scientific research to date provides no useful conclusion on whether the death penalty reduces or boosts the murder rate, said a report by the US National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday.

Scientific research to date provides no useful conclusion on whether the death penalty reduces or boosts the murder rate, said a report by the US National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday.

A committee of scientists reviewed research done over the past 35 years and found it was "not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on homicide rates," said the .

"Consequently, claims that research demonstrates that capital punishment decreases or increases the by a specified amount or has no effect on the homicide rate should not influence policy judgments."

The report was issued by the NAS's National Research Council, which convened a Committee on Deterrence and the Death Penalty to look at available evidence on how the death penalty may affect .

A previous report by the NRC in 1978 found that "available studies provide no useful evidence on the deterrent effect of capital punishment."

In the decades since that report, "a considerable number" of studies have attempted to judge how well it works, or does not, and have reached "widely varying conclusions," the latest report said.

"Fundamental flaws in the research we reviewed make it of no use in answering the question of whether the death penalty affects homicide rates," said Daniel Nagin, professor of public policy and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University and chair of the committee that wrote the report.

"We recognize that this conclusion may be controversial to some, but no one is well-served by unsupportable claims about the effect of the death penalty, regardless of whether the claim is that the death penalty deters , has no effect on homicide rates or actually increases homicides."

Until now, a key flaw in the research has been the failure to account for how punishments such as life in prison without the possibility of parole may affect homicide rates.

Also, a number of assumptions have hobbled previous studies, particularly by assuming that potential murderers actually consider the risk of execution and respond accordingly.

Instead, researchers going forward must perform more rigorous studies that assess how potential criminals view the and its likely effect on their actions, the report said.

Better methods for future research include collecting data that consider both capital and non-capital punishments for murder and doing studies on how potential murderers perceive a range of in homicide cases, it said.

Just 15 percent of people who have received the death sentence since 1976 have been executed, "and a large fraction of death sentences are reversed," added the report.

The members did not examine the moral arguments for or against capital punishment, or the costs involved.

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parder_dade
5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2012
"Instead, researchers going forward must perform more rigorous studies that assess how potential criminals view the death penalty and its likely effect on their actions, the report said."

Who cares if potential murders are deterred; it is about punishment, not deterrence or "rehabilitation".
Burnerjack
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 18, 2012
One this an absolute: The executed never kill again nor pose a risk or consume DoC resources. Maintaining the lives of those so dangerous as to never be deemed "civilized" is a waste of taxpayer money. If given the chance, I'd flip the switch or pull thr trigger myself, then go "grab a bite".
Vendicar_Decarian
0.4 / 5 (40) Apr 18, 2012
As is the burden of maintaining the lives of the physically infirm, citizens who can not afford medical treatment, and those with gross mental impairments.

"Maintaining the lives of those so dangerous as to never be deemed "civilized" is a waste of taxpayer money." - BurnerJack

Only a few extermination camps will be needed.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (39) Apr 18, 2012
Perhaps this is why the U.S. gulag now holds 2,500,000 people. An explosion in the prison population that started under Ronald Reagan, and has expanded the U.S. prison population by a factor of 5 times.

"Who cares if potential murders are deterred; it is about punishment, not deterrence or "rehabilitation". ParderTarder

Has this expansion in the U.S. Gulag population substantially reduced crime in America?
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2012
In California it costs $300.000.000 to kill each criminal. It would be great if the convict lineup were simply shot execution style, but unfortunately special interests have driven up the cost of execution to cosmic levels.
Who cares if potential murders are deterred; it is about punishment, not deterrence or "rehabilitation".
Anders Breivik says he would do it again in a heartbeat. Yet Norway can only give him a maximum sentence of 23 years. That's three months for each child he murdered in cold blood.; He will be given a hotel accommodation where he can watch TV, write a manifesto, and probably start a family as well: http://rt.com/new...ain-257/
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 18, 2012
In California it costs $300.000.000 to kill each criminal. It would be great if the convict lineup were simply shot execution style, but unfortunately special interests have driven up the cost of execution to cosmic levels.
It only costs this much because lawmaker lawyers have made it that way. Why should we warehouse people who have proven that they can never be set free? They only continue to abuse each other behind bars, and we all fund it.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.4 / 5 (40) Apr 18, 2012
Why should the state support the sick and the disabled who can't
care for themselves.

Just kill them along with all the midgets and the social deviants.

"Why should we warehouse people who have proven that they can never be set free?" - Otto
Burnerjack
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2012
China not only has driven the cost to what it should be, but then the organs are utilized to "give back" to the society the executed has been deemed unfit to live in. Now THAT is justice.
My only stipulation is that irrefutable proof, ie. multiple eyewitnesses etc. And to you Vendicar, feel free to support as many of these miscreants with as much of YOUR OWN money as you wish. As for me, I'd rather give what I can to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and similar worthy efforts. Somehow, Child killers, Child rapists and generally people too dangerous just don't seem worthy of taking money away from such efforts.
Burnerjack
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 18, 2012
Vendarian, are you seriously insinuating that the sick and disabled are criminals? Midgets are criminals? Capricious Logic doesn't do your lame left wing crock 'o shit "thinking" justice.
You don't believe in ibtillectual property, you don't believe in the concept that tax money is money off of people's dinner tables. Makes me wonder where YOUR money comes from. You forget these people made decisions that put them in their plight. For the truly criminally insane due to say, organic brain damage, etc. that's something else. "Evil" is not what I consider sickness, careful consideration is always in order. Sociciopaths don't need to be supported, IMNSHO.
Lurker2358
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 18, 2012
Why should the state support the sick and the disabled who can't
care for themselves.

Just kill them along with all the midgets and the social deviants


Misfits and social deviants is quite a leap from murderers and rapists, many of whom show absolutely no remorse or repentance of their deeds, except perhaps for the fact that they got caught.

Jarrod Laughner?

The dude should have been shot in the head at the scene of the crime. When they wrestled the guns away from him, they should have summarily executed him on the spot. No trial needed, there were dozens of eye-witnesses, including his wounded and dead victims.

The fact you have to spend millions to put someone on a "trial" when their guilt is irrefutable, and then they get out of it anyway on an "insanity" or "incompetence" plea is in itself insanity. Then they end up in a mental institution costing everyone millions of dollars for the rest of their lives.

Whether insane or not, he should have been summarily executed.
jonnyboy
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2012
just ignore Vendicar Decarian, we are pretty sure the VD has damaged his brain.
abclark
4.8 / 5 (5) Apr 19, 2012
There is little evidence that the death penalty deters future crime; but it is certainly 100% effective as to recidivism.
Burnerjack
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
Vendicar and many left wingers all share one common irony: they feel that police, DoC and the military are all unnecessary due to the isolation from reality these institutions provide. Once they or their families are harmed by those they are normally protected from, their perceptions take a dramatic turn.
It has often been said "democrat is a republican that hasn't been mugged.". True? Maybe not entirely, but the thought is true enough.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
Who cares if potential murders are deterred; it is about punishment, not deterrence or "rehabilitation".

Tell me: How 'punished' does a dead person feel?

Deterrence only works if the perptrators:
a) are aware that the death penalty exists
b) are in a state of mind that allows them to make a rational decision before comitting murder (i.e. being in a state of mind that can consider a) )

...but if b) applies then they usually also will think about how not to get caught - so they don't really care about a)

So I can see where the death penalty really doesn't serve any purpose other than to satisfy the bloodlust of the rest of the population (much like witch-burnings did)
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 19, 2012
Why should the state support the sick and the disabled who can't
care for themselves.

Just kill them along with all the midgets and the social deviants.

"Why should we warehouse people who have proven that they can never be set free?" - Otto
@vendecarrion

-But you would seem to want this for every decent, honorable american who accepts the need to occupy other countries just because the people there are disrespecting us -? Is this not a double standard?

Sick and disabled people who commit the same kind of crimes as those criminals in question, also probably need to be put down.

They insult the public decency and dignity. It is a further and a continued insult to feed, clothe, and house them for the rest of their lives, at the public expense. I dont think it is about punishing them, but about ending their abuse of society as a whole. It is an insult to maintain them in health and comfort after what they have done.
Burnerjack
1 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2012
Ghost, considering Vendicarian doesn't mind spend tax money in this way or even seeing the need to remove these "people" from the general population, logic says there is a fair probability that he doesn't work, pay his own way and is not exposed to the realities of the world we live in. Translation: Mommy/Daddy buy him whatever he wants, he is sequestered in his parent's basement lying around in his underwear while doing his Left Wing trolling.
Just a guess, but seems to have a high probability.
Burnerjack
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2012
Antialias, think of it this way: It's not a deterence it's not a punishment. It is an end to the abuse they bestow to those around them. Financial abuse included. Choose to live your life in a civilized manner or you won't. Bloodlust? Nah, just putting an end to their's.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 21, 2012
Ghost, considering Vendicarian doesn't mind spend tax money in this way or even seeing the need to remove these "people" from the general pop
The penal system is big business. It supports legions of highly-paid and politically influential professionals as well as many associated industries.

Science does now threaten to reduce crime both through preventative treatment and direct prevention of crime itself. Monitoring and tracking tech will soon make most crime very difficult. Legal assistance and judgment can and will largely become automated.

Legions of highly paid and politically influential professionals are understandably concerned about this. New crimes are being created daily and penalties are becoming more obtuse. Simply killing criminals is not nearly as lucrative as keeping them alive.
Burnerjack
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 21, 2012
Ghost, well said. Although more difficult, there will always be those of a predatory nature who accept breaking the laws of civility as both a personal challenge. AS WELL AS TO view with disdain those who choose to live in accordance with those laws as somehow subdude and defeated. Organized crime types come to mind, in this regard. In some perverse way, I suspect this is why personalities such as John Gotti, Whitey Bulger and the like are in some ways admired while at the same time responsible for many murders and the ruination of many more.

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