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NCJ Number: 229211 Find in a Library
Title: Short-Term Effects of Executions on Homicides: Deterrence, Displacement, or Both?
Journal: Criminology  Volume:47  Issue:4  Dated:November 2009  Pages:1009-1044
Author(s): Kenneth C. Land; Raymond H. C. Teske Jr.; Hui Zheng
Date Published: November 2009
Page Count: 36
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the State of Texas and its frequent use of the death penalty to estimate the homicide response to executions.
Abstract: Results of the research suggest that evidence exists of modest, short-term reductions to the number of homicides in Texas in the months of or after executions, from January 1994 through December 2005. In addition to homicide reductions, some displacement of homicides may be possible from 1 month to another in the months after the execution, which reduces the total reduction in homicides after an execution to about .5 during a 12-month period. The question is whether the death penalty saves lives. Previous research has used annual time-series panel data from the 50 U.S. States for 25 years claiming that many lives were saved through reductions in subsequent homicide rates after executions. However, these findings have been questioned because few State-years exist in which six or more executions have occurred (about 1 percent of all State-years). Focusing on the State of Texas, a State that has used the death penalty with sufficient frequency to make strong estimates of the homicide response to executions, this study hypothesized that the deterrent effects of executions on homicides in Texas, if any, would be small and short term with fairly rapid damping (dying out), and evident primarily in the post-1993 period. Study findings were based on time-series analyses and independent-validation tests. Tables, figures, and references
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Crime prediction; Deterrence; Homicide; Homicide trends; Texas
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