Steven Lewis Simpson

Why have death penalty when capital states have almost twice the average murder rate of non capital states?

For 2007, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty States was 5.5, while the average Murder Rate of States without the Death Penalty was 3.1

Click on link below for breakdown.
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-1996-2007

Now a lot of things interest me about the stats. One being the obvious that clearly the death penalty is clearly no deterrent. But also the murder rates are higher in a lot of states that would describe themselves as moral Southern States as well as a lot of bible country.

But it is an interesting list as it is hard to find a thread to it. Though one thing did strike me is that with the exception of Hawaii the general rule is the hotter states have a lot more murder than the colder northern states. Now I’m sure it’s down to other factors but I would be curious with somewhere like South Dakota where it is very hot some of the year and cold another whether there is a big seasonal difference in murder rates? Quite a funny theory. Maybe it just comes down to people on a cold winters day going “I think I’ll go and murder Michael today”, then they step out into the cold and think “hmm maybe I’ll put it off till tomorrow”.

But whatever the real reason it is next time someone says the death penalty is a deterrent ask them what they base that on?

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70 thoughts on “Why have death penalty when capital states have almost twice the average murder rate of non capital states?

  1. k_michael

    Given the expense of heating fuel, hotter states are generally cheaper places to live, so they tend to attract people who are living in poverty. Unfortunately, two negatives come together inthis eace: 1) poverty usually brings with it less education (including learning how to control impulses), less of a stake in the existing society, and less adequate nutrition (which does, in fact, have an effect upon brain function, including emotional state); and 2) the ‘hotter’ (i.e. Southern) states traditionally have less interest in taking steps to mitigate the effects of poverty, evidently seeing it as “part of the ‘natural’ order of things” as opposed to an economic symptom of inequity.

    Add to all of that the fact that tempers flare as the temperature rises.

    In other words, the statistic is not surprising; it’s exactly what would be expected. A deterrent is onyl effective when a person sees his or her own life as having some sort of value, *and* has, so to speak, “somethign to lose” by goign to prison. When prison seems like a step up in one’s situation, there’s no way that the treat of prison can be a deterrent. Regarding the death penalty, if a person is either psychotic, or has learned to place no value on his/her own life to begin with, again, there is no possible deterrent.

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