Saturday, November 17, 2007


Do death penalties deter murder? New studies rekindle debate
According to roughly a dozen recent studies, executions save lives. For each inmate put to death, the studies say, three to 18 murders are prevented.

The effect is most pronounced, according to some studies, in Texas and other states that execute condemned inmates relatively often and relatively quickly.

The evidence on whether it has a significant deterrent effect seems sufficiently plausible that the moral issue becomes a difficult one," said Cass R. Sunstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago who has frequently taken liberal positions. "I did shift from being against the death penalty to thinking that if it has a significant deterrent effect it's probably justified."

Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, a law professor at Harvard, wrote in their own Stanford Law Review article that "the recent evidence of a deterrent effect from capital punishment seems impressive, especially in light of its 'apparent power and unanimity,'" quoting a conclusion of a separate overview of the evidence in 2005 by Robert Weisberg, a law professor at Stanford, in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science.

"Capital punishment may well save lives," the two professors continued. "Those who object to capital punishment, and who do so in the name of protecting life, must come to terms with the possibility that the failure to inflict capital punishment will fail to protect life."

And of course there are those who think the death penalty has no effect as a deterrent.

But not everyone agrees that potential murderers know enough or can think clearly enough to make rational calculations. And the chances of being caught, convicted, sentenced to death and executed are in any event quite remote. Only about one in 300 homicides results in an execution.

In most death penalty cases the principle driving force behind the execution is not necessarily the deterrence of future crimes but the right of society to rid itself of a heinous criminal. A recent example would be John Couey. Couey is the predator that kidnapped Jessica Lunsford in the middle of the night. Couey repeatedly raped Jessica and then buried alive this precious little girl. Yes! society demands that John Couey breathes no more and whether or not his execution deters future predators is irrelevant. The family of Jessica will have closure on the day John Couey is put to death and on that day he will no longer be a threat or a burden to society ever again.


Anonymous said...

Amen to that !!!!! Couey meets swift and legal justice. Especially if the victim is a LODD Police Officer. The problem with most of our society is still the Judciary.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you wrote except, "The family of Jessica will have closure on the day John Couey is put to death..." Unfortunately, the family will never have "closure" It's impossible.

Anonymous said...

Let me be the executioner. He will find a new meaning for cruel and unusual.

leomemorial said...

I lived in Central FL when this happened. The day she was found, I came to work & one of my employees was crying uncontrollably. She said she thought of her grandchildren. All I could do was hug her while another supervisor, a retired Mokena Fire Chief & I just looked at each other knowing how this happens all the damn time...

Anonymous said...

is off topic.. but I know that many bosses read this blog..

I live in the 18th dist and I called the police to report a loud party on a busy friday night. the police showed up in less then 5 mins and shut the party down and restored peace.

I was unable to see the beat that showed up. but they did a great job clearing out 100 kids in 10 mins.

I then tried to call 311 to see if I could send a message to say thanks to the officers but 311 was unable to do that. 311 then transferred me to 911 and they then sent me to 18th dist desk who then told me that they are unable to take any messages for cars on the street.. they then sent me back to 311 who told me that any words of praise would have to be official and written then sent to the headquarters ( even if I did not have the officers names) so 20 mins later I got nothing.


So it seems that it's so easy to call and complain about the police. But it's so hard, dam near impossible for a citizen to praise the good work of the police.

so why can't someone make this a little easier.
In this day and age, why not let citizens call in letters of praise and let it go on the officers record. I would be willing to bet you would have a lot more praise.. then complaints

Anonymous said...

Of course capital punsihment is a deterrent. Name me just one crime ever committed by someone after they are dead.

From the Land of Lincoln said...

It does not matter if it is a deterrent or not. It's the individual states law. If you don't like the laws in your state, change them. In a time when Americans cannot obtain affordable health insurance, affordable education and affordable housing/property taxes, we need to clear out the prisons and make better use OUR tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

It's common sense to put to death an animal like Couhy.

Beings like Couhy and other slam dunk guilty sick fucks like Dahlmer and John Wayne Gacy are walking time bombs and society should not waste the financial resources to incarcerate them. Those monies should be spent for more jails and police.

With every animal like Couhy incarcerated there is the risk of escape or some liberal judge giving him parole or there's a release as a result of some mistake. If he's dead he sure won't be doing any more killing.

As has been pointed out, studies have shown the death penalty IS a deterance, as well.

When society realizes this an implements the death penalty, there is a cost. Some innocent people will be given the death penalty because mistakes happen in spite of every effort being made to convict only the truly guilty.

I think that's a price society must pay and in return, I believe, a greater number of lives are saved.

To do otherwise and to not have capital punishment, to value the life of a Couhy more then the good in our society be willing to sacrifice their life should they be one of the statistically few sentenced to death when innocent, will only costs many, many, more innocent lives, victims of those like Couhy and other killers.

I may sound callous and I honestly don't know if I would still have such an attitude if I or one of my loved ones was the one taking one for the team so to speak if sentenced to death in our legal system when guilty, but I would hope I would because, otherwise, the evil will prevail.

(not a cop)

Anonymous said...

Bring back public hangings.

Anonymous said...


This is would be the ultimate crime stopper!!

There would be many fewer victims---this is the society we need

Anonymous said...

Please hack off this guys dick and let him bleed to death.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Let me be the executioner. He will find a new meaning for cruel and unusual.

Sun Nov 18, 10:31:00 AM

Amen to that......

Please keep in mind that this is an open blog
that can and is read by people other than Chicago Police Officers.