org. "It is stacked again and again in the killers' favor and victims are an after-thought. It would be unlikely to ever lead to an execution in Massachusetts."
Chief among the group's gripes is that the bill does not specifically call for death in child or sex slayings but would put death on the table for inmates serving life who kill behind bars. Romney's bill provides the death penalty for killings involving terrorism, the murder of a law enforcement officer and slayings involving multiple victims or torture - all backed by irrefutable DNA evidence.
Paranzino also said a requirement for "no doubt" scientific proof conflicts with existing "reasonable doubt" standards. "This bill itself deserves to die of lethal injection," he said. "America is safer without this bill than we would be with it."
Romney aide Shawn Feddeman said the governor "focused on the worst of the worst murders (in drafting the legislation) because of objection that previous death penalties were too broadly applied."
She added: "However, if the Legislature wants to add more categories to the crimes that would be subject to the death penalty we would support that effort."
Does the death penalty deter homicides?
People murder for a variety of reasons and under many different situations e.g.:
during domestic disputes, when passions are inflamed.
A under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, when the perpetrator is not in rational control.
A hit-men doing contract killings; they typically never expect to be arrested.
A psychopaths and other mentally ill individuals who have little regard for human life and who are unable to accept responsibility for their actions self-destructive individuals who believe that they deserve to die and want to be arrested and executed.
A brain-damaged individuals, who experience periods of rage, and occasionally kill.
With the exception of professional hit-men, very few people are in a rational frame of mind when they kill others. It may be hopeless to expect any form of punishment to act as a deterrent.
There are some indicators that the death penalty has no effect:
From 1976 to 1996, the number of executions per year in the United States has increased from 0 to just under 60. The homicide rate per 100,000 population has remained constant at just under 10. 3
Criminologists who belong to the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Law and Society Association were polled. Over 80% believe that our current knowledge does not indicate a deterrent effect. 75% felt that increasing the numbers of executions or decreasing time spent on death row would not result in a deterrence. 4
67% of U.S. police chiefs do not believe that the death penalty significantly reduces the numbers of murders. 5
In 1967, a study by Thorsten Sellin 6 compared the homicide rates between neighboring states in which some had the death penalty, and others did not. Sellin also compared murder rates before and after states either abolished or reinstated the death penalty. He found no statistically valid difference in rates in both cases. These results were summarized in a book by J.Q. Wilson. 7 the study might have been affected by the numbers of executions at the time; they had dropped to near zero in the U.S., so that even those states with death penalty laws on the books were not exercising them fully.
1998 research study conducted for the United Nations concluded: "This research has failed to provide scientific proof that executions have a greater deterrent effect than life imprisonment. Such proof is unlikely to be forthcoming. The evidence as a whole still gives no positive support to the deterrent hypothesis." 8
There are some indicators that it acts as a deterrent:
Police chiefs ranked the death penalty as least effective among 7 methods of reducing the homicide rate. 31% viewed reducing the usage of drugs as the most effective; 17% with a better economy and more jobs, 16% by simplifying court rules; 15% with longer prison sentences
% by expanding the use of the death penalty.
One writer 9 disagrees with the belief of most sociologists that the death penalty does not deter murderers. Differing cultures in various states may produce differing homicide rates. And those states with the higher murder rates might also be those which retain the death penalty. He refers to: A study by Isaac Ehrlich which found that the murder rate responded to changes in the likelihood of execution. He concluded that 7 or 8 murders were prevented by each execution from 1933 to 1967. 10,11 study by Kenneth Wolpin which showed that each execution, on average, reduced the number of murders in England by 4. 12
Other articles and books are: 13,14,15
There are some indicators that it acts as an anti-deterrent i.e. The death penalty actually increases the homicide rate: