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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66840 Find in a Library
Title: USE OF THE DEATH PENALTY V OUTRAGE AT MURDER - SOME ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE AND CONSIDERATIONS (FROM CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESEARCH, 1980, BY SUSETTE M TALARICO - SEE NCJ-66830)
Author(s): W C BAILEY
Corporate Author: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN ARTICLE BY GLAZER AND ZIEGLER ON REASONS FOR HIGH MURDER RATES WHERE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT HAS BEEN USED MOST IS EXAMINED CRITICALLY, ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE IS PRESENTED.
Abstract: GLAZER AND ZIEGLER EXAMINED THREE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE HIGH RATES: ONE PROPOSED BY DEATH PENALTY PROPONENTS AND TWO PROPOSED BY ABOLITIONISTS. PROPONENTS ARGUE THAT THE MORE MURDERS THAT OCCUR IN AN AREA, THE MORE EXECUTIONS ARE REQUIRED TO DETER MURDER. IN CONTRAST, ABOLITIONISTS ARGUE THAT BOTH FREQUENT USE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND HIGH MURDER RATES RESULT FROM LOW VALUATION OF LIFE. GLAZER'S AND ZIEGLER'S EXAMINATION OF OFFICIAL POLICE, PRISONER, AND PAROLE STATISTICS LED THEM TO REJECT THE FIRST EXPLANATION, QUESTION THE SECOND, AND ACCEPT THE THIRD. THEIR ANALYSIS SUFFERS, HOWEVER, FROM SERIOUS METHODOLOGICAL PROBLEMS AS WELL AS FROM FAILURE TO CONSIDER SOME PREVIOUS RESEARCH RELEVANT TO THEIR TOPIC. FOR EXAMPLE, IN DISCUSSING THE USE OF THE DEATH PENALTY THEY FAIL TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN STATUTORY PROVISION FOR THE DEATH PENALTY AND THE ACTUAL USE OF THE DEATH PENALTY. MOREOVER, THE STATISTICS THEY USE INDICATE ONLY THAT EXECUTIONS ARE NOT THE SOLE DETERMINANT OF THE HOMICIDE LEVEL. THEIR CONCLUSIONS FOR ALL THREE ARGUMENTS APPEAR TO BE ARTIFACTS OF THEIR METHODOLOGY, WHICH IGNORES ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE. FOR EXAMPLE, DATA ON IMPRISONMENT PRACTICES IN DEATH PENALTY AND ABOLITIONIST STATES DO NOT GENERALLY SUPPORT THE SECOND ABOLITIONIST ARGUMENT. THUS, THE ARGUMENT THAT SEVERITY AND CERTAINTY OF PUNISHMENT OTHER THAN THE DEATH PENALTY WILL REDUCE HOMICIDE RATES DOES NOT FOLLOW FROM THEIR DATA. MOREOVER, THEY DO NOT EXPLAIN HOW THE REDUCTION WOULD BE ACHIEVED. ALTHOUGH GLAZER AND ZIEGLER HAVE EXAMINED SOME DIFFICULT QUESTIONS EMPIRICALLY, NEITHER THEIR EVIDENCE NOR THAT PRESENTED HERE PERMITS CONCLUSIVE ANSWERS. ALTHOUGH THIS ARTICLE AGREES IDEOLOGICALLY WITH GLAZER AND ZIEGLER ON THE NEED TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY, FURTHER RESEARCH IS NEEDED ON THE ARGUMENTS THEY EXAMINED. TABLES AND FOOTNOTES WHICH INCLUDE REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Critiques; Deterrence; Evaluation; Research methods
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66840

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