Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Here's a link to a site I know nothing about, other than it claims to take the data from FBI reports. It appears to be an anti-death penalty site. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder- ... -and-state
If the numbers are correct, it disproves the argument that non-death penalty states have a lower overall murder rate. Many states with very low murder rates per 100,000 are also very small states and this is significant. You can't compare tiny states to Texas, California, New York and other much larger states.
I'm not sure where you are getting this from, because looking at the stats on that page:
For 2011, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty States was 4.7, while the average Murder Rate of States without the Death Penalty was 3.1
For 2010, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty States was 4.6, while the average Murder Rate of States without the Death Penalty was 2.9
For 2009, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty States was 4.9, while the average Murder Rate of States without the Death Penalty was 2.8
For 2008, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty States was 5.2, while the average Murder Rate of States without the Death Penalty was 3.3
You can click around that site and find other stats comparing neighboring states with different policies, and detailed breakdowns of the rates.
Charles L. Cotton wrote:For purposes of this discussion, note that California has the death penalty, but it isn't used. The 2011 murder rate was 4.8 and that's the lowest in many years. It was 9.1 in 1996. Compare that to Texas with a 4.4 murder rate.
I'm not arguing that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime in the U.S.; I simply don't know, nor do I care. If someone is philosophically against executing murderers then that's fine. That's their belief and their opinion and we disagree. I'm not going to try to change their mind and they are wasting their time trying to change mine. I believe that, in most cases, murderers deserve to die.
For those who argue the murder rate in non-death penalty states is lower than in death penalty states, the stats seem to disprove this argument. Plus, many states have a death penalty statute, but is rarely if every used. That certainly is no deterrent, but again, I don't care.
Here is where we differ, I guess. I'm not opposed to executing murderers, rapists, and various other criminals. But the fact of it is that innocent people are convicted of crimes they didn't commit all the time. Our justice system isn't perfect, and it never can be. Having the state kill someone doesn't leave any room for mistakes, and having the state murder an innocent person is a (in my opinion) a far more heinous crime than letting a murderer rot in prison.