Essay on The Death Penalty

Submitted By DNCHEATUM
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Pages: 13

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/law-enforcement-views-deterrence#lawenforcement

Law Enforcement Views on Deterrence
LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE DEATH PENALTY

The graph to the right shows the results of a 2008 poll of 500 police chiefs in theUnited States, conducted by R.T. Strategies of Washington, DC. Police chiefs ranked the death penalty last when asked to name one area as "most important for reducing violent crime." Higher priorities included increasing the number of police officers, reducing drug abuse, and creating a better economy.
A study of the deterrence value of the death penalty focused on whether the death penalty deterred the murder of police officers. The researchers surveyed a thirteen year period of police homicides. The study concluded " we find no consistent evidence that capital punishment influenced police killings during the 1976-1989 period. . . . [P]olice do not appear to have been afforded an added measure of protection against homicide by capital punishment." (W. Bailey and R. Peterson, Murder, Capital Punishment, and Deterrence: A Review of the Evidence and an Examination of Police Killings, 50 Journal of Social Issues 53, 71 1994)
Smart on Crime: Reconsidering the Death Penalty in a Time of Economic Crisis. In this 2009 study, the nation’s police chiefs rank the death penaltylast in their priorities for effective crime reduction. The officers do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder, and they rate it as one of most inefficient uses of taxpayer dollars in fighting crime. Criminologists concur that the death penalty does not effectively reduce the number of murders.

Deterrence & Murder of Police Officers - According to statistics from the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report, regions of the country that use the death penalty the least are the safest for police officers. Police are most in danger in the south, which accounts for 80% of all executions (90% in 2000). From 1989-1998, 292 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the south, 125 in the west, 121 in the midwest, and 80 in the northeast, the region with the fewest execution - less than 1%. The three leading states where law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in 1998 were California, the state with the highestdeath row population (7); Texas, the state with the most executions since 1976 (5); and Florida, the state that is third highest in executions and in death row population (5). (FBI, Uniform Crime Reports, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 1998) Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed 1989-1998 Total 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989
South
292
29
32
24
32
24
31
28
29
31
32
West
125
14
15
6
23
18
11
13
7
9
9
Midwest
121
10
11
15
8
16
11
8
20
14
8
Northeast
80
3
7
10
8
12
9
8
7
7
9 On the Front Line: Law Enforcement Views on the Death Penalty A 1995 national survey of police chiefs from around the country discredits the repeated assertion that the death penalty is an important law enforcement tool.

CRIMINOLOGISTS' VIEWS ON DETERRENCE AND THE DEATH PENALTY

A survey of experts from the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Law and Society Association showed that the overwhelming majority did not believe that the death penalty is a proven deterrent to homicide. Over 80% believe the existing research fails to support a deterrence justification for the death penalty. Similarly, over 75% of those polled do not believe that increasing the number of executions, or decreasing the time spent on death row before execution, would produce a general deterrent effect. (M. Radelet and R. Akers, Deterrence and the Death Penalty: The Views of the Experts, 1995)
Research reported in Homicide Studies, Vol. 1, No.2, May 1997, indicates that executions may actually increase the number of murders, rather than deter murders. Prof. Ernie…