FEATURED POST

Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

Image
ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

Report: Deterrence is Based on Certainty of Apprehension, Not Severity of Punishment

South Carolina's death row
The certainty of apprehension, not the severity of punishment, is more effective as a deterrent. So argues Daniel S. Nagin (pictured), one of the nation’s foremost scholars on deterrence and criminal justice policy, in his chapter on Deterrence in the recently released Academy for Justice four-volume study, Reforming Criminal Justice

Reviewing deterrence scholarship since the 1960s and five leading studies from the past two decades, Dr. Nagin concludes that evidence supporting a deterrent effect from "the certainty of punishment is far more convincing and consistent than for the severity of punishment." 

Moreover, he writes, "[t]he certainty of apprehension, and not the severity of the ensuing legal consequence, is the more effective deterrent." 

Dr. Nagin is the Teresa and H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and previously chaired the Committee on Deterrence and the Death Penalty for the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science (NAS). In that capacity, he served as co-editor of the 2012 National Academies report, Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Nagin explains in his Academy for Justice chapter that although "certainty must result in a distasteful consequence" for the punishment to be a deterrent, "[t]he consequences need not be draconian, just sufficiently costly, to deter the prohibited behavior." 

In making policy judgments about the justification for increasingly severe sanctions, he says, "the deterrent return to increasing an already long sentence appears to be small, possibly zero." 

The 2012 NAS Committee found that "research to date on the effect of capital punishment on homicide is not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on homicide rates" and recommended that those deterrent studies "not be used to inform deliberations requiring judgments about the effect of the death penalty on homicide." 

A February 2015 study by the Brennan Center for Justice of the dramatic drop in crime in the U.S. in the 1990s and 2000s found that the death penalty had no effect on the decline in crime

(D. Nagin, "Deterrence," in "Reforming Criminal Justice: Bridging the Gap Between Scholarship and Reform," vol. 4, "Punishment, Incarceration, and Release," Academy for Justice, Arizona State University (E. Luna, editor), release date October 26, 2017; D. Nagin and J. Pepper, "Deterrence and the Death Penalty," Committee on Law and Justice at the National Research Council, April 2012.)

Source: Death Penalty Information Center, December 12, 2017


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Tennessee executes Billy Ray Irick

New Study: Death Penalty Costing Nebraska Taxpayers $14.6 Million Each Year

Nebraska executes Carey Dean Moore

Paralysis, eye gouging, amputation, crucifixion: The Medieval punishments faced by criminals in Saudi Arabia

The Brits on death row around the world hoping to escape execution

USA: State of Nebraska set to carry out first execution in 21 years

Tennessee executes Cecil C. Johnson Jr.

Fentanyl Used to Execute Nebraska Inmate, in a First for U.S.

URGENT APPEAL for Anthony Haynes to be executed in Texas on 18 October

Should 'Late Adolescence' Protect Young People from Execution?