Friday, February 02, 2007

Resources on the Death Penalty

We have regularly posted on the issue of the death penalty (capital punishment), and thought it would be worthwhile to post a list of resources on this blog (and other things we have published).
  • No Racial Bias in the Federal Death Penalty — studies of racial bias in the death penalty usually show a bias against black victims (and virtually never the bias against black offenders that simple-minded notions of “racism” would imply). But in fact, when the U.S. Justice Department decides whether to ask for the death penalty, there is no racial bias. This suggests that with the proper sort of centralized review, the policy can be implemented in a bias-free way.
  • Europe and the Death Penalty: Elites vs. Ordinary Citizens — Death penalty opponents usually point to Europe as a model of supposedly “civilized” policy. But in fact, public opinion in Europe often favors the death penalty, especially in the case of people like Saddam Hussein. The reality is not that Europe is especially “civilized,” it’s just that ordinary citizens have less say than in America.
  • Wisconsin Should Adopt the Death Penalty — an article in The Wisconsin Interest dealing with three issues surrounding the punishment: (1.) have their really been over 120 innocent people sentenced to death since 1973? (2.) can we really believe death penalty opponents when they propose life without parole as an alternative punishment? and (3.) is it really true that no evidence supports the notion that the death penalty deters murders? In all three cases, the answer is “no.”
  • Sister Helen Prejean’s Lack of Credibility — How the well-known death penalty opponent, in her book, badly misrepresented the facts about one Joseph O’Dell in order to make him appear to be innocent.
  • Sister Helen Prejean’s Bogus Claims of “Innocents” Being Executed — About Dobie Gillis Williams, another case of Prejean distorting the facts to make a guilty man seem innocent.
  • Executions Deter Murder — a summary of recent studies showing that executing murderers does indeed deter murders.
  • Poor Innocents Railroaded and Given the Death Penalty? — death penalty opponents can list several cases in which they claim an innocent person was executed. In one case, their claims were actually tested with DNA evidence.
  • All Blacks Are Death Penalty Opponents, Right? — it’s a mantra among death penalty opponents that the sanction discriminates against blacks, therefore, they would have you believe, all blacks oppose capital punishment. It this true?
  • European Elites’ Corrupt Opposition to the Death Penalty — An article from the Washington Post about how the death penalty was abolished in Germany to protect Nazi war criminals, and how ordinary citizens in Europe favor execution.
  • Governor Ryan’s Execution Moratorium in Illinois: Killing the Innocent — In 2003 when Governor George Ryan of Illinois commuted the sentences of all the convicted murderers on death row in his state, he became a hero to anti-death penalty forces. But two scholars used economic modeling techniques to establish that the commutations resulted in about 150 additional murders in the state.
  • Life in Prison: Not An Adequate Alternative to Execution — death penalty opponents tout life in prison without parole as an alternative to execution. Unfortunately, (1.) prisoners (including terrorists) escape, (2.) prisoners kill other prisoners and (3.) governors and presidents have the power to spring murderers, and will do so if it appears to be good politics. Bottom line: life without parole is not a promise that anybody can make with any credibility.
  • Death Penalty Appeals Rarely Show Error — death penalty opponents claim that trials leading to the imposition of a capital sentence are often found, on appeal, to have involved a “reversible error.” Of course, this may tell us nothing besides the fact that liberal activist judges often sit on those higher courts, but in reality the incidence of “reversible error” quoted by the death penalty opponents is vastly inflated.
  • It’s Dangerous Not to Execute Murderers — what do we risk when we fail to execute convicted murderers? This article gives some examples of murderers got off death row, either because of activist judges or lenient chief executives — with deadly consequences for innocent people.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous JudgeRight said...

I would propose an edit to the point of life imprisonment as an alternative. You should also mention that they kill innocent guards charged with keeping them there.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Gluttony said...

I agree Life Imprisonment should not be an alternative on capital punishments. "If you did the crime your life will end in time".

3:25 PM  
Blogger mazet said...

the death pernalty is against the south african constitution.and if a person where to commite a crime that deserves the death pernalty.then we have to change our constitution and bill of rights because they are against death pernalty.my view is nobody has the right to determine when a person has to die only god has the authority

4:22 AM  

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