Capital punishment and the deterrence of violent crime in comparable counties

A matching process identified 293 pairs of counties in the United States that share 45 percent or more of their borders across a state line. Data from the 1988 County and City Data Book were then used to examine social, demographic, and economic differences within these matched pairs, with the diffe...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Cheatwood, Derral
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 1993
In:Criminal justice review
Year: 1993, Volume: 18, Issue: 2, Pages: 165-181
Online Access: doi
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: 8127
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USA
Description
Summary:A matching process identified 293 pairs of counties in the United States that share 45 percent or more of their borders across a state line. Data from the 1988 County and City Data Book were then used to examine social, demographic, and economic differences within these matched pairs, with the difference in the violent crime rate in each pair employed as the dependent variable. Three variables reflecting the existence and use of capital punishment in the two states represented in each matched pair-the existence of a provision for capital punishment, the number of people executed since 1976, and the number of people currently held on death row-were then entered in the analysis to examine the effects of capital punishment. The capital punishment variables did not account for any significant portion of the differences in the violent crime rates, and, contrary to deterrence theory, what effects these variables did have were positive. These findings support the large number of studies at state and national levels that have found no deterrent effect of capital punishment
ISSN:0734-0168