September 4, 2014

It's Not Called Capital Deterrence

University researchers have discovered what has been pretty well understood for millennia, the death penalty deters crime.

From the Wintery Knight:
“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).

And specifically:

• 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).
One study suggests that when, in January 2000, Illinois Governor George Ryan suspended scheduled executions and commuted all death penalties to life imprisonment, the result was that 150 more people were murdered in a four year period in the state.

More here and here.


LL said...

Either give us a death penalty that is swift (within the scope of the law) and certain, or allow all citizens open carry.

sig94 said...

LL - the rate that citizens are killing felons (justifiable homicides) over the last ten years is increasing nearly three times as fast as the number killed by police. Between 2011 and 2012 it increased 15% alone.
~UCR Expanded Homicide Tables 13 and 14.

Kid said...

Something else occurred to me the other day. Many who are against the death penalty point to people often enough who are found innocent through DNA evidence and are freed after 15-20 years.
The key her I think, is the DNA evidence. (1)If DNA evidence was used when these people were convicted, they may not have been convicted in the first place, an (2) people who are now convicted using DNA evidence are FAR much less likely to be found innocent after 15-20 years.

Sure, DNA evidence Can be planted but how often is that going to happen..

Z said...

Where the heck is this evidence about more murders happening when death sentences are commuted when we need it?
The Left denies every minute this subject's in discussion that the death penalty deters, yet.... here it IS!
Good post.

Doom said...

Which is why I support it, and the 2nd amendment. Same same, in some situations. I'm not even terribly concerned about mistakes, so long as the generally right people are on the docket. Simply, as they are finding with religion, it is better... save islam... to have faithful people, and the death penalty, warts, problems, and all... than not.

sig94 said...

Z - read the Chesterton hymn on your blog. I really liked it. It really is so fitting and appropriate for our nation today.