Tuesday, June 12, 2007

South Anchorage Murder Signals Need for Stronger Deterrence

A vicious Sunday night murder in South Anchorage should telegraph Alaskans that stronger deterrent is needed in our framework of laws. A capital punishment statute followed up by swift executions of the guilty would send a strong signal to those who would end the lives of others: murder someone and you will surely die for your crime.

A dozen studies since 2001 have shown again the obvious: capital punishment deters. In three separate reviews of social data, investigators estimated between three and 18 lives would be saved per execution of the guilty. Swift justice amplifies the signal, the studies showed.

It is clear to me that Alaska law worries too much about the guilty, and by our failure to deal decisively with sociopaths we expose the innocent to slaughter, just as happened on Sunday. Legislators: I call on you to seriously consider this issue and to enact a strong and just capital punishment statute to protect the innocent.

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