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Could Quicker Executions Deter Homicides?: The Relationship by Valerie L. Wright

By Valerie L. Wright

Wright examines even if waits for executions effect the deterrent worth of capital punishment. She additionally seeks to figure out even if race has a job in generating or inhibiting deterrence. She asks even if blacks and whites are both aware of how fast executions are conducted, in addition to, no matter if the impact of celerity varies with the race of the achieved. Longer waits on dying row should not on the topic of murders. certainly, executions and having members on dying row might be contributing to better premiums of homicides. In states and years the place there are not any executions, homicides between blacks are approximately thirty-six percentage decrease, and in states and years with out a person on dying row white murder charges are approximately 40 percentage reduce.

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Observing others being sanctioned may produce deterrence depending on the characteristics of the population being deterred (DeLamater 1968). It seems reasonable that people with different social classes, ages, sexes, and races may respond differently to observations of punishments. To date, only Shepherd’s work demonstrates that swifter executions serve to decrease the homicide rates of both blacks and whites (2004). At the same time, previous research has shown that blacks and whites vary in their perceptions of the perceived probability of apprehension (Waldo and Chiricos 1972) and severity of punishment for law violations (Wood and May 2003).

To control for other factors associated with homicide, he includes four socio demographic variables: percent of nonwhites in the population, urban population, percentage of the population aged twenty through thirty years, and median family income. Contrary to deterrence theory, he found no evidence that delays in executions are positively related to homicide rates. In fact, the length of time between sentencing and executions for murder was consistently found to be negatively associated with state homicide rates in Bailey’s 1980 study.

Therefore, according to deterrence theory, in order for legal sanctions to be effective deterrents to crime, they must be: (1) severe enough to outweigh any potential benefits of criminal activity; (2) administered with certainty so that the punishment is real in the minds of citizens and they come to believe that criminal actions will be detected and punished; (3) publicized to ensure that the public is aware of the consequences for breaking the law; and (4) administered swiftly so that offenders and audiences alike associate the consequences with particular crimes.

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