skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 113638 Find in a Library
Title: Effect of Executions Is Brutalization, Not Deterrence (From Challenging Capital Punishment: Legal and Social Science Approaches, P 49-89, 1988, Kenneth C Haas and James A Inciardi, eds. -- see NCJ-113635)
Author(s): W J Bowers
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 41
Sponsoring Agency: Chicago Resource Ctr
Chicago, IL 60606
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Grant Number: 7804603
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review of relevant empirical studies indicates that capital punishment is more likely to promote violence (brutalization) than to decrease it (deterrence).
Abstract: In Gregg v. Georgia (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court held statistical attempts to evaluate the worth of the death penalty as a deterrent to crime inconclusive. Since the 'Gregg' decision, Ehrlich's deterrence findings have been discredited and even reversed. Careful review of other studies has revealed a balance of brutalization over deterrence results. Close examination of homicide data from earlier studies has shown consistent evidence of a brutalizing effect. Recent studies using monthly homicide data have provided more reliable statistical evidence of brutalization. Phillips' study, contrary to its original claims, should properly be counted among those studies finding statistically significant support for the brutalization hypothesis. 29 notes, 97 references.
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Deterrence effectiveness; Violence causes
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.