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Death of Lisa Montgomery in Indiana.


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3 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

How do you know this? I mean, how do we know it isn't working as a deterrent at some level? Sure, we still have murderers, but how can we know there wouldn't be more if we didn't have the death penalty, maybe only a very few more? I am not even disagreeing, I just don't understand how e can say with any confidence it doesn't work as a deterrent (at some level), when this is more or less impossible to study?

You only need too look up mass shootings or gang killings in USA sure we don't know I agree but killings are happening all time in USA.

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Yeah, there is no place for the death penalty in a civilised society. One of the major reasons for having a justice system is to blunt the edges of the more visceral human instinctive responses to per

The purpose of imprisonment is at least fourfold: rehabilitation, deterrence, prevention of new crimes, and revenge.  You are correct that rehabilitation has been shown to not work efficiently (s

It's also a LOT cheaper than putting them to death interestingly. Check out the cost of executing a prisoner in the US vs keeping them in jail for life. With all the appeals and legal avenues that hav

Its been reported loads this sentence is being handed out less now than  it ever has been and also Biden is a massive massive anti D P man I can't see there being another federal order under Biden hes confirmed this many times and even possible too say he will do same for normal orders.

 

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6 hours ago, Gavin82 said:

You only need too look up mass shootings or gang killings in USA sure we don't know I agree but killings are happening all time in USA.

Oh, you were arguing that death penalty doesn't work in deterring all murders? Well, I don't think any proponent of death penalty claimed it would, just like any other sentencing doesn't fully deter the crime to the point where it is eradicated. I am sure they would argue - like we do when arguing for sentencing as a deterrent for other crimes - that as long as it has some effect on reducing the crime, it works as a deterrent. 

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9 hours ago, Gavin82 said:

You only need too look up mass shootings or gang killings in USA sure we don't know I agree but killings are happening all time in USA.

I would say that people who do mass shootings or gang killings either way do not care about any punishment. Some kill themselves, some think they will never get caught and some don't really give a shit. I think it's only a few people, who feel they have to kill someone, but don't do it because of the type of punishment that could be handed to them. But of course, there is no way to ever know.

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6 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

Oh, you were arguing that death penalty doesn't work in deterring all murders? Well, I don't think any proponent of death penalty claimed it would, just like any other sentencing doesn't fully deter the crime to the point where it is eradicated. I am sure they would argue - like we do when arguing for sentencing as a deterrent for other crimes - that as long as it has some effect on reducing the crime, it works as a deterrent. 

It hasn't been shown to deter any crime more effectively than long-term prison sentences.

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And now, having read the first article, the evidence is only weak.

From the article:

"We certainly can’t say there is a deterrent. We can’t say there is not either," said Marc Mauer, the executive director of The Sentencing Project, adding that the lack of evidence was itself worth considering. "I think at the very least the fact that there’s certainly no reason to believe there’s a significant deterrent effect should give pause."

Which makes sense to me. A possible effect, although not very large. I would think there is definitely some effect, but likely not large enough to be used as an argument in the discussions on whether capital punishment is okay or not.

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If only one would-be murderer halts, if only one killer-in-the-making pauses, because of being afraid of capital punishment, then there is some deterrence. At least one life is saved. The question then is, how many people are we willing to kill to save at least one person, especially knowing we are likely to make mistakes and kill some that are innocent? 

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3 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

But how can you even show it? 

The obvious answer is by comparing murder rates of countries with no death penalty with those who have it. Lots of other variables at play though including gun laws, levels of social deprivation etc.

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1 minute ago, spunko12345 said:

The obvious answer is by comparing murder rates of countries with no death penalty with those who have it. Lots of other variables at play though including gun laws, levels of social deprivation etc.

Yes, that's the thing, too many other variables that erode the value of such comparative studies. Again, not saying we can't be fairly certain the deterrent effect of capital punishment is limited, just that we can't rule out there is some effect. 

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"Those who defend the deterrent value of the death penalty offer little systematic research to support their view. Instead, they rely on an intuitive feeling that capital punishment should be uniquely effective. When the available evidence doesn't support that conclusion, they argue that the evidence is imperfect. It is. But if there were any substantial net deterrent effect from capital punishment under modern U.S. conditions, the studies we have surveyed should clearly reveal it. They do not."

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Obviously religion comes into play here as in deeply religious countries like the US and middle eastern countries judgment and being held accountable for things is largely put in the hands of non real things. So death penalties or other penalties may not seem so important? I'm speculating but it seems like it could be a factor.

It's refreshing to have a good discussion and debate on here without either side getting to het up.

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I disagree with the view that it's impossible to know anything about the effects of the death penalty simply because there are other variables at play that affect murder rates. If you go by that principle, you would have to reject pretty much all social science and not just that which relates to the death penalty.

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54 minutes ago, Scream of the Butterfly said:

"Those who defend the deterrent value of the death penalty offer little systematic research to support their view. Instead, they rely on an intuitive feeling that capital punishment should be uniquely effective. When the available evidence doesn't support that conclusion, they argue that the evidence is imperfect. It is. But if there were any substantial net deterrent effect from capital punishment under modern U.S. conditions, the studies we have surveyed should clearly reveal it. They do not."

But again, no one here is arguing for a" substantial net deterrent effect", only - to use a statistical term - a significant effect. 

I think what is clouding this discussion (and not here, but in general), is the fact that these arguments, like whether capital punishment has some deterrent value, are used for or against capital punishment. So they become loaded. Personally, even if I find it obvious that there will be a minor deterrence from capital punishment on murder, I don't find this a weighty argument in favor of capital punishment. I find that question of a more ethical nature (should we be allowed to kill others?) than a solely pragmatic one. It simply doesn't matter if a few murders are prevented if we allow capital punishment, when the cost is the state-sanctioned murders of likely a few more wrongly sentenced, and the surrender of a fundamental compassion to the weakest among us, the murderers, and a surrender to our base instincts of revenge and retribution. 

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40 minutes ago, Scream of the Butterfly said:

I disagree with the view that it's impossible to know anything about the effects of the death penalty simply because there are other variables at play that affect murder rates. If you go by that principle, you would have to reject pretty much all social science and not just that which relates to the death penalty.

I think there is no doubt that studies in social sciences, including comparative analyses between countries that are far from identical, can be frustratingly ungenerous in terms of clear cut results. That doesn't mean we should reject social sciences, at all, just that we must be transparent about any weaknesses in studies and try avoid using inconclusive studies for political gain. 

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Capital punishment, as extensive studies on the topic have shown, is not a viable form of deterrence.  I've read several (not all), and have not come across anything that suggests that it works as a preventative measure.  Perhaps the scholars who have looked into the issue have missed something, but based on the accumulative research on the topic, the burden of proof is now on those who want to demonstrate some connection between state-sanctioned execution and its affect on the state's murder rate.  

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8 hours ago, downzy said:

Capital punishment, as extensive studies on the topic have shown, is not a viable form of deterrence.  I've read several (not all), and have not come across anything that suggests that it works as a preventative measure.  Perhaps the scholars who have looked into the issue have missed something, but based on the accumulative research on the topic, the burden of proof is now on those who want to demonstrate some connection between state-sanctioned execution and its affect on the state's murder rate.  

If laws are preventive in that they can cause some restraints on peoples' violence (and not necessarily in the sense that people in affect suddenly have visions of imprisonment that curbs their actions, but rather that we get socialized to exert less violence because of various reasons including the threat of sentencing), then it is only logical that the threat of capital punishment will, too, have some effect of deterrence.

This effect may be too small to accurately quantify, or qualitatively verify, but it makes no sense that all other threats of punishment will have some effect of deterrence but not capital punishment. It is likely also too small to be used effectively as an argument in favor of capital punishment. It becomes rather academic. 

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Surely the best deterrent is a decent education, and a sensible society? Preemptive root cause solutions.

If the endless millions that was spent on death row cases each year was spent on education, lobbying government to change the law to take weapons of war off the streets, and building more supportive / civil societies, that would have a much greater effect than having death row as a potential deterrent.

22 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

Yes, that's the thing, too many other variables that erode the value of such comparative studies. Again, not saying we can't be fairly certain the deterrent effect of capital punishment is limited, just that we can't rule out there is some effect. 

The only real way you could do it without variables is to look at a country that removed the death penalty. Was the rate of crime immediately preceding it being removed (e.g. the 10 years prior) different to the rate of crime immediately following?

Yes there are some other factors still, but to remove as many variables as possible this is surely the easiest and more accurate solution to work up the statistics.

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14 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

If laws are preventive in that they can cause some restraints on peoples' violence (and not necessarily in the sense that people in affect suddenly have visions of imprisonment that curbs their actions, but rather that we get socialized to exert less violence because of various reasons including the threat of sentencing), then it is only logical that the threat of capital punishment will, too, have some effect of deterrence.

Except one has to consider the law of diminishing returns.  At some point we reach a threshold where excessive deterrence has no real or traceable effect.

Case in point is a change in speed traffic laws in my province ten to fifteen years ago.  The law was changed so that anyone caught going over 50 km/h the post speed limit would incur a $2,000 - $10,000 fine, have their car impounded, a seven day drivers licenses suspension, prison time (of up to 6 months) and a 100% increase in car insurance.  It was very effective in reducing the number of people (including) driving over 50 km over the speed limit.  Are there still people that drive more than 50 km/h over the limit?  Sure, but it's a small fraction of what we once saw on the roads.  Would increasing the fines further cause any additional drops?  Perhaps.  But you would eventually get to a point where any additional increases wouldn't have any tangible difference in the number driving over 50 km/h. 

The same dynamic is at play with the death penalty.  If spending the remainder of your life is not a big enough deterrent to commit a capital offence, then the threat of death at the hands of the state isn't going to change one's behaviour.

This also fails to consider the nature of the crime.  The vast majority of capital offences are not premeditated.  They are committed under duress.  Increases in punishment will not affect these individuals.

As for those who commit premeditated murder, it is found often that the perpetrator operates on the belief that they will not get caught.  So again, the possibility of receiving the death penalty isn't ever or seriously considered.

Finally, there has been some research done on the possibility that the death sentence actually incentivizes a small section of public to commit additional murder.  The most depraved or troubled could perceive death as a means to escape and/or gain notoriety.  A similar dynamic/perspective is found in arming teachers or having armed guards/police at a school.  For a trouble kid who wants to take out other kids out before they check out themselves, the increased likelihood of their own death at the hands of an armed guard providers further incentive to shoot up a school.  

15 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

This effect may be too small to accurately quantify, or qualitatively verify, but it makes no sense that all other threats of punishment will have some effect of deterrence but not capital punishment.

Again, it does if one assumes the law of diminishing returns applies to deterrence and punishment.  

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7 hours ago, ToonGuns said:

Surely the best deterrent is a decent education, and a sensible society? Preemptive root cause solutions.

If the endless millions that was spent on death row cases each year was spent on education, lobbying government to change the law to take weapons of war off the streets, and building more supportive / civil societies, that would have a much greater effect than having death row as a potential deterrent.

I think anything that would help prevent child abuse would also be a good investment.

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