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The Most Obvious Headline Ever

The headline… Studies: Death Penalty Discourages Crime

::: slaps head ::: Whodathunkit?

An excerpt:

What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analysts say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.

But the life of a criminal is more valuable than those three to 18 lives for our society, or so it seems by everyone’s desire to abolish the death penalty.

And the co-author of the study is against the death penalty!

“Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it,” said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. “The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect.”

A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. “The results are robust, they don’t really go away,” he said. “I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?

I encourage you to read the rest of this story, which follows by outlining conclusions and the various levels of argument for the flip side. The morality issues, the “flawed” methodology, etc.

It’s really common sense to me. Yes, serious and speedy consequences to a situation will deter future criminals to consider the same crime. When there are no serious or speedy consequences that make a criminal pause, they will continue down the path, willing to take the consequences. Am I cold blooded for wanting to protect innocent people from murderers? I personally don’t think so. I only wish society could see the consequences for their decision to let these criminals off with a slap versus a real sentence.

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