All prospects of a negative outcome deter some. It is a truism. The death penalty, the most severe of criminal sanctions, is the least likely of all criminal sanctions to violate that truism.
25 recent studies finding for deterrence, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation,
"Deterrence and the Death Penalty: A Reply to Radelet and Lacock"
"Death Penalty, Deterrence & Murder Rates: Let's be clear"
"The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents"
Mr. Sugg claims: "(With executions) We're not delivering justice; we're descending to the moral level of killers".
Mr. Sugg equates, morally, those who rape and murder children with the execution of that rapist/murderer. Mr. Sugg may be unaware of the easy moral distinction between crime and punishment.
Mr. Sugg writes: "Death-penalty states in 2005 had a 46 percent higher murder rate than states that have banned legal homicide."
Washington DC and Detroit Michigan, both perennial leaders in murders and violent crimes are no death penalty zones. The 2005 murder rates for DC was 29.1 and for the state of Michigan, 7.1, respectively. In death penalty states Delaware and South Dakota, the 2005 murder rates were 4.4 and 2.3, respectively. Murder rates cannot tell the full tale of deterrence. You need to read the studies.
Yet, Mr. Sugg avoids the 12 recent studies, inclusive of their defenses, which find for the enhanced deterrent effect of the death penalty. All prospects for negative outcomes deter some. There is no exception.
In his highly selective biblical choice Mr. Sugg cites: "Did God execute Cain? No, he spared him."
I suspect Mr. Sugg forgot about the great flood - where all of mankind, except for Noah et al ( and a large zoological collection), were laid to waste by that same God.
Mr. Sugg parrots: "124 condemned prisoners in 25 states have escaped the executioner after proof of their innocence materialized."
What proof? Mr. Sugg, the 124 number is an easily discoverable fraud, if you had fact checked it. Maybe 20 of those might be actually innocent - or about 0.3% of those so sentenced.
You may be interested to know that innocents are more at risk without the death penalty.
Compassion often has two sides. Mr. Sugg's would spare guilty murderers at the cost of more innocents murdered.
Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail email@example.com, 713-622-5491,
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-Span, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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