Deterrence

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Having worked on many homicides, visited dozens of murder scenes, and, most importantly, spoken to many people who have committed violent actions against others, I understand from personal experience what so many studies show: that there is no evidence whatsoever that the death penalty deters crime and enhances public safety.

Richard Bloch former Chief Deputy District Attorney for Arapahoe County

The death penalty does not deter crime nor promote public safety. The vast majority of law enforcement professionals agree that capital punishment does not deter violent crime and states with the death penalty do not have lower murder rates than those without.

  • 88% of the country’s top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide. Additionally, 87% of the expert criminologists believe that abolition of the death penalty would not have any significant effect on murder rates.
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  • In a nationwide survey, police chiefs ranked the death penalty last when asked to name one area as “most important for reducing violent crime.”
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  • In an additional nationwide survey police chiefs rank the death penalty last in their priorities for effective crime reduction. The officers do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder, and they rate it as one of most inefficient uses of taxpayer dollars in fighting crime.
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  • A study conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice examined several possible explanations for the dramatic drop in crime in the U.S. in the 1990s and 2000s. Among the theories studied was use of the death penalty, which the report found had no effect on the decline in crime.                                                                                                                     Read more