Study Finds That Death Penalty Does Not Deter Murder
On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court upheld Oklahoma’s use of a controversial lethal-injection drug in a 5-4 decision. Justice Antonin Scalia, who voted in favor of the continuation of Oklahoma’s death penalty practices, expressed his support for capital punishment and claimed that the death penalty is an effective crime deterrent; however, most experts believe that the facts do not support this claim.
According to a survey conducted in 2009 and published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 88% of America’s top criminologists do not believe that capital punishment deters murderers, and 87% believe that abolishing the death penalty would have no significant effect on homicide rates. Moreover, 75% of the experts surveyed agreed that death penalty debates distract lawmakers from focusing on more effective solutions to our nation’s crime. The experts surveyed, including American Society of Criminology Fellows; American Society of Criminology award winners; and recent presidents of the American Society of Criminology, were asked to respond to a questionnaire and provide answers based on empirical research, not personal opinion.
Although Scalia included a few choice studies to support his claim that the death penalty is an effective crime deterrent, the majority of the research that has been done on the subject suggests otherwise. A review of research conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice in 2015 indicates that capital punishment laws had no discernable impact on crime in the 1990s and 2000s. Furthermore, the researchers came to the conclusion that studies suggesting that the death penalty is an effective deterrent were not methodologically sound. States that do not have the death penalty tend to have lower homicide rates than those that do; however, it is difficult to assess what role the threat of capital punishment plays in a state’s murder rate because there are a myriad of other factors which also contribute to crime rates.
Currently the death penalty exists in 31 states in the U.S. New Jersey abolished the death penalty in 2007 under Governor Corzine’s administration. People who are convicted of murder in New Jersey could face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Camden County Criminal Lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, Defends Persons Charged with Murder and Other Crimes in New Jersey
If you have been charged with murder in New Jersey, hiring the right criminal lawyer to defend you is essential. As a former prosecutor, Jill R. Cohen is uniquely qualified to build and present the most effective defense strategy for your case. Camden County criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Jill R. Cohen will thoroughly review all details pertaining to your case, go over all options with you and fight relentlessly to ensure the best possible outcome in court. Call us or contact us online. Our offices are located in Westmont, New Jersey, and we defend clients charged with crimes throughout South Jersey including Camden County, Gloucester County, Burlington County and Atlantic County.