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  1. #1
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Death Penalty Saves Lives

    New life for pro-death penalty arguments
    November 20, 2007
    BY STEVE HUNTLEY
    Just as the U.S. Supreme Court has imposed a de facto moratorium on executions come reports that the death penalty indeed does protect lives.

    A dozen studies performed by economists over the last decade demonstrate the deterrence value of capital punishment, according to the New York Times. Each execution was found to prevent three to 18 murders. The authors of one study, professors Roy D. Adler and Michael Summers of Pepperdine University, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that their research found even more dramatic results: "Each execution carried out is correlated with about 74 fewer murders the following year."

    Opponents of the death penalty dispute the studies, saying too many factors influence crime, there are too few executions each year to have such a dramatic impact and society would be better off looking to better policing and innovative attacks on poverty to reduce homicides.

    Still, the rigor of the studies, the consistent results and the reputations of the researchers, some of them opponents of capital punishment, have even foes of the death penalty acknowledging the findings complicate the moral arguments.

    Writing in the December 2005 Stanford Law Review, law professors Cass R. Sunstein of the University of Chicago and Adrian Vermeule of Harvard stated that "capital punishment may be morally required, not for retributive reasons, but rather to prevent the taking of innocent lives."

    (They go on to argue that evidence of the deterrent suggests "government is obliged to provide far more protection than it now does," meaning increased regulation over a wide range of issues from environmental degradation to poverty relief to reduce threats to human safety. As they note, that's a consequence of the studies not likely to please many conservative supporters of the death penalty.)

    Opponents of capital punishment had been heartened by the halt on most executions in effect imposed by the Supreme Court's decision to review whether the cocktail of drugs used in lethal injections may cause unconstitutional pain. Illinois already had a moratorium, one imposed by Gov. George Ryan and yet to be lifted by Gov. Blagojevich.

    Now, these new studies buttress the supporters of the death penalty, including those of us who believe retribution alone is justification -- that in the worst crimes the murderer deserves to be dispatched to hell. Those on the other side argued that life imprisonment without parole is an alternative to execution, but now that has to be counterbalanced by the lives saved by the capital punishment deterrent.

    Life imprisonment itself can raise uncomfortable issues. For example, should sick murderers be offered the latest medical innovations? In California, an inmate serving a second sentence for robbery in Los Angeles received a heart transplant and $2 million in medical care in 2002, though he later died. California said the treatment was required under a 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision guaranteeing inmates adequate medical care. In other words, a John Wayne Gacy could be imprisoned for his "natural life" and the taxpayers then required to pay millions for an organ transplant to extend that life.

    No proponent of execution can ignore the history of wrongful convictions like those that prompted Ryan to declare the moratorium on executions. Imposing a death sentence should require a higher standard than imprisonment. Now DNA technology, recently enacted death penalty reforms and reserving execution for only the most heinous crimes offer safeguards against the state killing the wrong person.

    We don't know whether Stacy Peterson is missing or dead. But her case and the unresolved death of Nailah Franklin are not isolated events. They remind us there is an endless stream of stories about women stalked, terrorized and murdered by husbands and boyfriends as courts and police fail to safeguard their lives. Recall the horror story that came to be Sheila Gallo's life. She took out an order of protection against her estranged husband, Carl Gallo Jr. of Schaumburg, only to see him stalk her -- despite being convicted three times of violating the order -- and finally rape and strangle her. Her mother found her body with his teeth marks on her breast. Gallo was sentenced to 75 years.

    Perhaps if society executed more of these predators, the world would be a little safer for women.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  2. #2
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    I've seen studies on this before, and I believe it.

    The last time the Supreme Court put a moratoriam on the Death Penality, they let out a few infamous and non-infamous Texas death-row and life murderers on Parole, which directly resulted in about 5 or 6 documented deaths, and probably more

    The best known was Kenneth McDuff, who immediately killed two more women when he was let out - Here's an article on him
    http://www.texnews.com/1998/texas/mcd1118.html

    I can't remember the name of the other ones at the moment, but I saw a list of them somewhere.

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  3. #3
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    What I loved about this, is one of the researchers was/is against the death penalty.

    He didn't let his bias get in the way of his findings though....good for him!
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

  4. #4
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    The process still takes too long. From sentencing to chair, longer than five years takes a lot of the oomph out of the deterrent effect.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

 

 

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