Violence Reduction

Why do we kill people to show people that killing people is wrong?”

Use of the death penalty simply perpetuates violence and the notion that the use of violence to solve problems is okay.

As an infamous bumper sticker once said: “Why do we kill people to show people that killing people is wrong?”

A “brutalization” effect from use of the death penalty has also been well documented.

For example:

Financial savings from repeal can also help reduce violent crime by putting more police on the streets and supporting law enforcement efforts to solve “cold cases.”

High Murder Rates in Death Penalty States

Many people argue that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime. They say that because the death penalty is out there as a threat, people will think twice before they commit heinous, violent acts. But the statistics do not support this conclusion.

In the chart below we see that although murder rates throughout the country have declined steadily since 1990, the murder rates of the states that do not have the death penalty have declined faster and greater than states with the death penalty.

The information in this chart is from the Death Penalty Information Center.

Murder Rates

1990

1995

2000

2005

2008

2009

2010

Death Penalty States

9.5

8.59

5.7

5.87

5.72

5.26

5.0

Non-Death Penalty States

9.16

6.78

4.25

4.03

4.05

3.9

4.01

% Difference

4%

27%

35%

46%

41%

35%

25%

Police Chiefs Agree Death Penalty Not a Deterrent

57% of police chiefs polled agreed with this statement:  “The death penalty does little to prevent violent crimes because perpetrators rarely consider the consequences when engaged in violence.”

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