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William C. Bailey & Ruth D. Peterson

In: Studying and Preventing Homicide: Issues and Challenges

Chapter 12: Capital Punishment, Homicide, and Deterrence: An Assessment of the Evidence

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Capital Punishment, Homicide, and Deterrence: An Assessment of the Evidence
Capital punishment, homicide, and deterrence: An assessment of the evidence
WilliamC.Bailey
RuthD.Peterson

Scholars have devoted a great deal of attention to the role of capital punishment in the criminal justice system. Concerns about the death penalty were at the forefront of interest for a number of the early founders of criminology (Beccaria, 1764/1963; Bentham, 1962), and the debate continues today as the United States maintains the distinction of being the only Western nation to retain capital punishment for common murder. Currently, 38 states and the federal government authorize capital punishment for murder and various other crimes. As of the last Bureau of Justice Statistics census (December 1996), more than 3,000 persons were on death row awaiting execution (Snell, ...

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