skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 68940 Find in a Library
Title: MULTIVARIATE CROSS-SECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE DETERRENT EFFECT OF THE DEATH PENALTY
Journal: SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL RESEARCH  Volume:64  Issue:2  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:183-207
Author(s): W C BAILEY
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 25
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE DETERRENT EFFECT OF THE DEATH PENALTY WAS MEASURED FOR 1910 TO 1962, AND THE RELATIVE DETERRENT EFFECT OF IMPRISONMMENT VERSUS THE DEATH PENALTY WAS DETERMINED FOR 2 YEARS.
Abstract: TO DISCOVER THE DETERRENCE EFFECT OF EXECUTIONS, RATE INDEXES FOR HOMICIDE AND EXECUTIONS WERE COMPUTED FOR EACH STATE FOR EACH YEAR. A CERTAINTY OF EXECUTION INDICATOR WAS THEN COMPUTED BY DIVIDING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF EXECUTIONS BY THE TOTAL NUMBER OF REPORTED HOMICIDES IN EACH CASE. FOR COMPARISONS TO OTHER FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH HOMICIDE RATES, DATA WERE ALSO GATHERED ON (1) PERCENT URBAN POPULATION, (2) PERCENT NONWHITE POPULATION, (3) PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT, (4) MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME, AND (5) MEDIAN EDUCATION. THE EXECUTION-HOMICIDE RELATIONSHIP WAS EXAMINED BY COMPARING THE RATES ON A YEARLY BASIS, AND BY COMPARING THE EXECUTION RATE FOR 1 YEAR WITH THE HOMICIDE RATE OF THE NEXT, IN ORDER TO ACCOUNT FOR A TIME LAG INFLUENCE. FINALLY, TO DISCOVER WHETHER THE DEATH PENALTY PROVIDES A MORE EFFECTIVE DETERRENT TO MURDER THAN IMPRISONMENT, THE MEDIAN LENGTHS OF THE PRISON SENTENCES OF CONVICTED MURDERERS WHO WERE RELEASED FROM PRISON IN 2 OF THE STUDY YEARS (DATA FOR OTHER YEARS WERE NOT AVAILABLE) WERE USED TO COMPUTE SEVERITY OF IMPRISONMENT INDICATORS. THE EVIDENCE DID NOT SUPPORT THE CLAIM THAT THE DEATH PENALTY IS AN EFFECTIVE DETERRENT TO MURDER. EDUCATION AND INCOME LEVELS AND UNEMPLOYMENT WERE MORE IMPORTANT FACTORS THAN EXECUTIONS IN AFFECTING THE HOMICIDE RATE. SEVERITY OF IMPRISONMENT APPEARED TO HAVE A MORE SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON THE HOMICIDE RATE THAN THE DEATH PENALTY; HOWEVER, RACE, DOMICILE, AND LEVEL OF INCOME PROVED TO BE EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANTLY RELATED TO THE HOMICIDE RATE THAN THE SEVERITY OF IMPRISONMENT. FOOTNOTES, TABLES, AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Corrections effectiveness; Deterrence; Deterrence effectiveness; Murder; Statistical analysis
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68940

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.