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NCJ Number: 68079 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: DETERRENCE AND THE CELERITY OF THE DEATH PENALTY - A NEGLECTED QUESTION IN DETERRENCE RESEARCH
Journal: SOCIAL FORCES  Volume:58  Issue:4  Dated:(JUNE 1980)  Pages:1308-1333
Author(s): W C BAILEY
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20201
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ANALYSIS OF THE DETERRENT EFFECT OF THE CELERITY OF THE DEATH PENALTY ON HOMICIDE RATES CONCLUDES THAT EVIDENCE CLEARLY SUGGESTS THAT THE DEATH PENALTY CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED ON GROUNDS OF DETERRENCE EFFECTIVENESS.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH IN RECENT YEARS THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF INVESTIGATIONS OF THE CERTAINTY OF EXECUTION AND DETERRENCE, THE EFFECT OF CELERITY OF EXECUTION HAS NOT BEEN EXAMINED EMPIRICALLY. AS A RESULT, THERE IS SPECULATION ABOUT THE MERIT OF THE DETERRENCE HYPOTHESIS FOR THE CELERITY OF EXECUTIONS AND ABOUT BIAS IN PREVIOUS DETERRENCE AND DEATH PENALTY INVESTIGATIONS DUE TO CELERITY BEING IGNORED. THIS STUDY IS A PARTIAL REPLICATION AND EXTENSION OF A NUMBER OF INVESTIGATIONS. IT EXAMINES THE DETERRENCE HYPOTHESIS OF A SIGNIFICANT INVERSE RELATIONHIPS BETWEEN STATES' HOMICIDE RATES AND THE CERTAINTY OF EXECUTION FOR HOMICIDE, THE CERTAINTY OF IMPRISONMENT FOR HOMICIDE, AND THE SEVERITY OF IMPRISONMENT FOR HOMICIDE. IT ALSO EXAMINES THE DETERRENCE HYPOTHESIS OF A SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CELERITY OF THE DEATH PENALTY AND HOMICIDE RATES; THE GREATER THE ELAPSED TIME BETWEEN SENTENCING AND EXECUTION OF CONVICTED MURDERERS, THE HIGHER THE HOMICIDE RATE. A REVIEW OF THE PERTINENT LITERATURE INCLUDES THE RESEARCH FINDINGS OF EHRLICH, YUNKER, FROST, BAILEY, BLACK, AND ORSAGH. THIS RESEARCH FAILS TO PROVIDE AN ALTOGETHER CONSISTENT PATTERN OF FINDINGS. THE DETERRENCE OF THE CERTAINTY AND CELERITY OF EXECUTION, AND THE CERTAINTY AND SEVERITY OF IMPRISONMENT ON STATE HOMICIDE RATES IS EXAMINED TO PROVIDE A MORE COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF THE DETERRENCE QUESTION. MULTIPLE MEASURES OF THE CERTAINTY OF EXECUTION AND HOMICIDE RATES ARE INVESTIGATED AND A VARIETY OF SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED AS CONTROL VARIABLES. NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER IS FOUND FOR THE ARGUMENT THAT THE CERTAINTY, OR CELERITY, OF THE DEATH PENALTY PROVIDES AN EFFECTIVE DETERRENT TO MURDER. THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT THE DEATH PENALTY IN OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WILL HAVE TO BE JUSTIFIED ON GROUNDS OTHER THAN ITS DETERRENCE EFFECTIVENESS. STATISTICAL TABLES AND EXTENSIVE REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--MFE)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Deterrence effectiveness; Research
Note: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE UNDER THE SAME TITLE APPEARED AS A DISCUSSION PAPER (#532-78) AT THE INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH ON POVERTY, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68079

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