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NCJ Number: 135767 Find in a Library
Title: Murder, Capital Punishment, and Television: Execution Publicity and Homicide Rates
Journal: ASR (American Sociological Review)  Volume:55  Issue:5  Dated:(October 1990)  Pages:628-633
Author(s): W C Bailey
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 6
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines whether or not television publicity on executions from 1976 through 1987 had a deterrent effect on murder as evidenced by monthly homicide rates over the study period.
Abstract: The dependent variable is the monthly homicide rate per 100,000 U.S. resident population. Homicide figures are drawn from annual volumes (1976-87) and "Monthly Vital Statistics Reports" issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Data on television publicity are obtained from the Vanderbilt Television News Archives, which has since 1968 abstracted the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs including coverage of executions. From 1977 through 1987 there were 93 executions. Of these, 33 (distributed over 15 months) received television coverage by one or more of the three national networks. A series of autoregressive analyses are conducted for monthly homicide rates, the frequency of executions, and the amount and type of television coverage of executions. Ten control variables are used. Findings do not support either the deterrence argument, which contends that capital punishment reduces killings, or the brutalization argument, which argues that capital punishment promotes killings. Homicide rates were not related to either the amount or the type of execution publicity over the period. 2 tables and 22 references
Main Term(s): Capital punishment; Media coverage
Index Term(s): Deterrence effectiveness; Murder
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