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NCJ Number: NCJ 045563     Find in a Library
Title: WHY WE SHOULD REJECT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT (FROM CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES - CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, 1976 - SEE NCJ-45561)
Author(s): E G WANGER
Corporate Author: Citizens Research Council of Michigan
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 12
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN OPPONENT OF THE DEATH PENALTY COUNTERS ARGUMENTS OF THOSE WHO FAVOR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT; CONSIDERATION IS GIVEN TO POSSIBILITIES OF REFORMING OFFENDERS AND PREVENTING AND DETERRING CRIME THROUGH IMPRISONMENT.
Abstract: THE AUTHOR EXAMINES THE SITUATION OF MICHIGAN, THE FIRST STATE TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY FOR MURDER AND LESSER CRIMES IN 1846, IN RELATION TO INCREASED CRIME RATES AND CONCOMITANT INCREASED SUPPORT FOR A RETURN TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. HE POINTS OUT THAT MICHIGAN'S PENALTY FOR FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IS MANDATORY LIFE IMPRISONMENT, WITHOUT THE RIGHT TO PAROLE; THAT NOT ONE CONVICTED FIRST-DEGREE MURDERER WHO HAS BEEN COMMUTED AND PAROLED IN MICHIGAN SINCE 1938 HAS BEEN RETURNED TO PRISON FOR COMMITTING ANOTHER MURDER; AND THAT, ON THE WHOLE, CONVICTED FIRST-DEGREE MURDERERS ARE THE BEST BEHAVED CONVICTS IN PRISON, NOT ONLY IN MICHIGAN, BUT NATIONALLY. ALTHOUGH THIS RECORD IS PARTLY DUE TO MICHIGAN'S CORRECTIONS SYSTEM AND EXPERIENCE IN HANDLING FIRST-DEGREE MURDERERS, IT IS NOT UNUSUAL. OTHER OBJECTIONS TO THE DEATH PENALTY CITED BY THE AUTHOR INCLUDE: (1) THERE IS HOPE THAT EVEN THE WORST KILLER CAN BE REFORMED; (2) THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT DETERS POTENTIAL MURDERERS BETTER THAN LIFE IMPRISONMENT; (3) THERE IS NO CORRELATION BETWEEN THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE HOMICIDE RATE AND THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF THE DEATH PENALTY; (4) THE DEATH PENALTY BRINGS WITH IT A NUMBER OF SEVERE UTILITARIAN EVILS, I.E., IT DEGRADES THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, IT IS INFLICTED DISCRIMINATORILY AGAINST NONWHITES, IT OBSTRUCTS THE CERTAINTY AND SWIFTNESS OF CONVICTION AND PUNISHMENT, AND IT IS OCCASIONALLY EXERCISED AGAINST INNOCENT PERSONS; AND (5) THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RETRIBUTION AND REVENGE WHERE THE DEATH PENALTY IS CONCERNED. THE AUTHOR STRONGLY OPPOSES THE RETURN OF THE DEATH PENALTY TO MICHIGAN. FOOTNOTES ARE SUPPLIED. (DAS)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment ; Critiques ; Reform ; Michigan
   
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=45563

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