Setting aside serious concerns about the misapplication of the death penalty, a number of recent studies have concluded that executions save lives — though these conclusions are being hotly debated. The New York Times reports that the â€œstudies, performed by economists in the past decade, compare the number of executions in different jurisdictions with homicide rates over time — while trying to eliminate the effects of crime rates, conviction rates and other factors — and say that murder rates tend to fall as executions rise.â€ The studies estimate that executing one inmate can prevent three to 18 murders.
But critics contend the studiesâ€™ methodology is flawed and that there arenâ€™t enough executions and other data to create a correlation with crime trends. They contend that crime could also decrease if we took the amount of money spent on capital cases and executions and put it into crime prevention.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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