Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Supporters of capital punishment often believe that the death penalty acts as deterrence to crime. The facts show otherwise. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, states without the death penalty over the last 20 years have consistently had lower murder rates than states that use capital punishment. In looking at the years 2009, 2010, and 2011 (most recent available), states without the death penalty respectively had a 35%, 25% and 18% lower murder rates than states that used capital punishment.

Furthermore a 2008 poll of 500 police chiefs in the U.S. ranked the death penalty last when asked to name an “important area” to reduce violent crime. Police chiefs gave higher significance to increasing the number of police officers, reducing drug use and creating a better economy.  For more information about deterrence and the death penalty click here.
Posted: December 13, 2103

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