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Thread: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    This of course assumes that you place no value on the lives that are saved via deterrence resulting from the death penalty.
    I've not read Mocan's work (which seems the most significant study mentioned in the article), but existing empirical research into the deterrence effect of capital punishment seems somewhat problematic. For example, Zimmerman's Estimates of the Deterrent Effect of Alternative Execution Methods in the United States: 1978-2000 notes that "[t]he empirical estimates suggest that the deterrent effect of capital punishment is driven primarily by executions conducted by electrocution. None of the other four methods of execution (lethal injection, gas chamber asphyxiation, hanging, and/or firing squad) are found to have a statistically significant impact on the per capita incidence of murder." That doesn't seem to be at all a sound conclusion, which indicates that there are methodological deficiencies present in the existing empirical research that corrupt the accuracy of their findings.

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    A prisoner is more likely to die in the general prison population than on death row.
    I've not looked into the matter, but that still has no bearing on the issue of the compensation system, since a more appropriately managed system would apparently involve gen. pops with low murder rates and death rows with high and efficient execution rates.

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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    I've not looked into the matter, but that still has no bearing on the issue of the compensation system, since a more appropriately managed system would apparently involve gen. pops with low murder rates and death rows with high and efficient execution rates.
    Sounds good in theory, I reckon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    I've not read Mocan's work (which seems the most significant study mentioned in the article), but existing empirical research into the deterrence effect of capital punishment seems somewhat problematic. For example, Zimmerman's Estimates of the Deterrent Effect of Alternative Execution Methods in the United States: 1978-2000 notes that "[t]he empirical estimates suggest that the deterrent effect of capital punishment is driven primarily by executions conducted by electrocution. None of the other four methods of execution (lethal injection, gas chamber asphyxiation, hanging, and/or firing squad) are found to have a statistically significant impact on the per capita incidence of murder." That doesn't seem to be at all a sound conclusion, which indicates that there are methodological deficiencies present in the existing empirical research that corrupt the accuracy of their findings.
    Even if we assume that this one study is correct and that there is no deterrent effect from any other type of execution (which seems implausible on its face, given the difficulties in studying that due to the fact that it's generally only used by choice now), that's not an argument against the death penalty, but rather an argument for the use of the electric chair over lethal injection.
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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Even if we assume that this one study is correct and that there is no deterrent effect from any other type of execution (which seems implausible on its face, given the difficulties in studying that due to the fact that it's generally only used by choice now), that's not an argument against the death penalty, but rather an argument for the use of the electric chair over lethal injection.
    That's actually an analysis of the majority of the empirical literature on the death penalty, and the idea that execution via electrocution has a deterrence effect while execution via lethal injection, gas chamber asphyxiation, hanging, and firing squad do not is probably unsound. It could theoretically be related to perceptions of the brutality of electrocution that deter potential murderers, but again, it's far more likely that there are methodological deficiencies present in the empirical literature that has rendered much of it unsuitable as a basis for policy formation.

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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And the prosecution proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, using the evidence that was available at the time. The fact that there is a dispute about that evidence 18 years later doesn't mean that the proper procedures weren't followed at the time of the trial.
    You can split hairs about whether the evidence was available at the time. But the point is that NOW the evidence strongly suggests there's a reasonable doubt to his guilt. Oops.

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC
    This of course assumes that you place no value on the lives that are saved via deterrence resulting from the death penalty.
    The death penalty has an economic cost associated with it. Let's assume for a second that the death penalty does, in fact, deter murders. What if, instead of spending huge amounts of taxpayer money on death row appeals, we spent it to hire more police officers? Which deters MORE murders - having the death penalty or having more cops?

    If you cannot definitively answer the question in favor of the death penalty, I'd prefer to err toward the solution that DOESN'T involve the government executing potentially innocent people.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 08-26-09 at 09:53 PM.
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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    A prisoner is more likely to die in the general prison population than on death row.
    Please cite your source. I find this incredibly difficult to believe.
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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    By that logic, let's just stop putting people in prison, because a few of them might be innocent.
    If you are in prison and later you are exonerated, then you get out of prison. If you are executed and later exonerated, you are still dead.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Unless, of course, they die in prison. Then what?
    EVERY person that is executed and found innocent is still dead.

    Not EVERY person that is in jail and found innocent is dead from being jailed.

    There is at least a chance for a person jailed and found innocent to walk out that jail alive. There is no chance if they are executed.

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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Please cite your source. I find this incredibly difficult to believe.
    You gotta be kiddin' me! You mean I actually have to prove that to you?

    From 2001 to 2006 there were over 18,000 prison deaths.

    Bureau of Justice Statistics - Deaths in Custody 2001-2005 - Table 1. Number of State prisoner deaths by cause, 2001-2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Expert says fire for which man was executed was not arson

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    EVERY person that is executed and found innocent is still dead.

    Not EVERY person that is in jail and found innocent is dead from being jailed.

    There is at least a chance for a person jailed and found innocent to walk out that jail alive. There is no chance if they are executed.
    But, they have a higher probability of dieing doing a life sentence, than they do of dieing on death row.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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