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NCJ Number: 43801 Find in a Library
Title: DEATH PENALTY - RETRIBUTION OR DETERRENCE (FROM UNAFEI REPORT FOR 1976 AND RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES NO 13, 1977 - SEE NCJ-43800)
Author(s): T SELLIN
Corporate Author: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
Japan
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
Tokyo, Japan
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Nations
Annotation: ASSUMPTIONS AND RATIONALE BEHIND ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ARE DISCUSSED, WITH REFERENCE TO EMPIRICAL STUDIES OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEATH PENALTY IMPOSITION AND HOMICIDE RATES.
Abstract: THOSE THAT ARGUE FOR RETENTION OF THE DEATH PENALTY HOLD THAT EXECUTION IS THE ONLY PROPER PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER, THAT THE DEATH PENALTY IS NEEDED TO SUSTAIN THE MORAL ORDER OF SOCIETY, AND THAT THE DEATH PENALTY IS A UNIQUE MEANS FOR DETERRING POTENTIAL OFFENDERS FROM COMMITTING CRIME. ABOLITIONISTS CLAIM THAT SOCIETY HAS NO RIGHT TO TAKE A MURDERER'S LIFE, THAT RETRIBUTION IS NOT A PROPER BASIS FOR A PENAL SYSTEM, AND THAT THE MORAL ORDER IS NOT THREATENED BY THE ABSENCE OF THE DEATH PENALTY. ARGUMENTS ON BOTH SIDES CONTAIN ASSERTIONS THAT THE DEATH PENALTY DOES OR DOES NOT ACHIEVE CERTAIN AIMS. ALTHOUGH THE SCOPE OF THE DEBATE HAS NARROWED, THE ARGUMENTS FOR RETENTION OR ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY HAVE REMAINED LARGELY THE SAME THROUGHOUT HISTORY. A 1950 STUDY IN WHICH THE CRIMINAL HOMICIDE RATES IN SIX STATES THAT HAD ABOLISHED THE DEATH PENALTY PRIOR TO WORLD WAR I WERE COMPARED WITH RATES IN OTHER STATES FOUND NO DISCERNIBLE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MURDER RATES AND THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. IN 1975, AN ECONOMETRICIAN CONCLUDED ON THE BASIS OF MULTIPLE REGRESSION ANALYSIS OF NATIONAL DATA ON HOMICIDES AND EXECUTIONS FROM 1933 TO 1969 THAT EACH EXECUTION DURING THIS PERIOD PREVENTED SEVEN OR EIGHT MURDERS. HOWEVER, THE METHODS AND FINDINGS OF THE ECONOMETRIC RESEARCH HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED. OTHER STUDIES SEEKING TO DETERMINE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGHLY PUBLICIZED EXECUTIONS AND MURDER RATES IN THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH THE EXECUTIONS TOOK PLACE HAVE FAILED TO PROVE ANY SUCH RELATIONSHIP.
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Crime Rate; Deterrence; Homicide; Studies; United States of America
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43801

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