Monday, June 11, 2007

New Studies: Death Penalty Deters 3-18 Homicides Per Execution

Returning the death penalty to active use in the united states is not so much about justly punishing the guilty as it is protecting innocents from slaughter. A recent article on MSNBC News summarized recent findings in social science that demonstrate that executions do in fact deter homicides.
“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?”
Critics dismiss this and other studies suggesting that methodologies are flawed and populations are too small to draw useful conclusions. However, the academic attack on these studies seem to me to often be merely defending entrenched positions.

It is incomprehensible that society might defend murderers and allow the innocent to perish. Yet by protecting the guilty from swift punishment, we allow others to die because of our fastidiousness.

Let us be clear: no one, not one single person, need ever be put to death again. All that is required is that no one murder or commit other capital crimes. Just...don't....pull....the....trigger.

In my mind, those who strive against the death penalty themselves have the blood of innocents on their hands.

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