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Deterrence and the Death Penalty. Llad Phillips. VI. Lecture Six: “Deterrence and the Death Penalty”, Professor Phillips Ch. 10 (P&V) "Isolating Deterrence Using the Simultaneous Equation System" References: Gary Becker, "Crime and Punishment:

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Deterrence and the Death Penalty


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    1. Deterrence and the Death Penalty Llad Phillips

    2. VI. Lecture Six: “Deterrence and the Death Penalty”, Professor Phillips Ch. 10 (P&V) "Isolating Deterrence Using the Simultaneous Equation System" References: Gary Becker, "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach" Journal of Political Economy, March/April 1968 (RBR)

    3. Economic Conditions and Crime • California Crime Index Turns Back Up in the New Millenium

    4. Damages: US Violence, 1993 Source: National Institute of Justice, Victim Costs and Consequences (1996)

    5. Increase in CA Homicides • 2002 to 2003: at least 10 more homicides • @$1,191,000, increased damages of $11.9 million, minimum • 2003: 2402 homicides • @$1,191,000, total damages of $ 2.86 billion http://caag.state.ca.us/

    6. Schematic of the Criminal Justice System Causes ? Weak Link Offense Rate Per Capita Crime Generation Expected Cost of Punishment (detention, deterrence) Expenditures Crime Control

    7. Questions About Crime • Does the Expected Severity of Punishment Deter Crime? • expected severity = probability of punishment * severity of punishment • e.g. in LA County: 0.005*death penalty • Why Do We Keep Building Prisons at Great Expense to Warehouse Convicts? • Doesn’t deterrence work? • Do we have to rely on detention?

    8. Controversy About the Death Penalty • Death penalty is the most severe sentence. • Does it deter crime? • Opponents of the death penalty say no. • Their evidence? Critiques of studies that indicate the death penalty is a deterrent. • Why are so few murderers who receive the death sentence executed in California? • Death sentence appeases the proponents. • Few executions appeases the opponents.

    9. http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook

    10. Policy Impact of Opponents to the Death Penalty • As an instrument for crime control, deterrence has been a casualty of the argument about the death penalty. • The argument: if the death penalty does not deter murderers, then deterrence must not work as a control. • As a consequence, society relies more and more on detention for crime control. • Society builds more and more prisons.

    11. Homicide in Los Angeles County • 1990-1994: 9442 homicides • Increasing number of gang murders • > 40 % of the total • Only 1 in 3 murders leads to punishment • gang killings are harder to solve

    12. Branching Diagram unsolved 46% other 9442 homicides in LA County 13% 54% dismissed or not guilty solved 87% 32% arrest and prosecution (47%) 68% guilty (32%)

    13. Branching Diagram, Continued dismissed or not guilty Manslaughter 15 years to life (7.0%) 50% Guilty (32%) 25 years to life (5.0%) 50% 1st & 2nd degree murder (16%) life without parole (3.5%) 3.1% death sentence ( 0.5%)

    14. Who has benefited the most from the decline in the homicide rate in the nineties?

    15. Who is the victim, family, friend or stranger? http://caag.state.ca.us/ Homicide in California, 1998

    16. U.S.

    17. Death Sentences Commuted:US

    18. U.S.

    19. Executions in the United States

    20. Administration of Capital Sentences in the US Stock Outflow Inflow Prisoners on Death Row Sentenced to Death Sentences Commuted, Executions

    21. Prisoners on Death Row: US

    22. The Death Penalty in California • Eleven persons were executed between 1965 and 2005 • In January 2005, there were 640 convicts on death row

    23. California Department of Corrections: http//www.cdc.state.ca.us/

    24. California Executions Since 1978

    25. Execution Witness Area

    26. Execution Chamber

    27. Gas Chamber

    28. Split Personality Behaviors Jack Hirshleifer: “The Expanding Domain of Economics” Economic Man motive: self-interest Work and no violence Choice Economic Man motive: self-interest with episodes of antagonism Work and brawl in bars

    29. Motivation for Violence: Antagonism Assaulters Iso-preference Lines Assaulter’s Income High Total or Social Income Low Victim’s Income

    30. expect $24,000/yr Work and no violence choice Apprehended: lose 1 month in court and jail, $22,000 0.1 Work and brawl in bars 0.9 Not apprehended $24,000 Expected income: 0.1*$22,000 + 0.9*$24,000 = $23,800

    31. Questions About Statistical Studies of Deterrence • Do we know enough about the factors that cause crime? • Can we find variables that will control for variation in crime generation? • We have better measures for the factors that control crime than for the factors that cause crime. • Unknown variation in crime generation may mask the effects of crime control.

    32. Schematic of the Criminal Justice System Causes ? Weak Link Offense Rate Per Capita Crime Generation Expected Cost of Punishment (detention, deterrence) Expenditures Crime Control

    33. Crime Generation 1. variation of offense rate per capita with expected cost of punishment 2. Shift in the relationship with a change in causal factors Offense rate per capita crime generation function Expected cost(severity) of punishment

    34. Crime Generation 1. variation of offense rate per capita with expected cost of punishment 2. Shift in the relationship with a change in causal factors Offense rate per capita crime generation function High causal conditions Low causal conditions Expected cost(severity) of punishment

    35. Production Function for the Criminal Justice System (CJS) 1. Variation in expected costs of punishment with criminal justice system expenditure per capita Expected costs of punishment production function Criminal Justice System expenditures per capita

    36. Four-Way Diagram: Crime Generation & Crime Control per capita expenditures on CJS offense rate per capita Crime Generation expected cost of punishment