20 May , 2014

CPRC in the News: “A Reply to The Atlantic on the Death Penalty”

John Lott’s newest piece at National Review Online’s The Corner replying to a piece by Andrew Cohen at the Atlantic starts this way:

Death-penalty opponents are engaging in a lot of hyperbole.

As an example, in the Atlantic this past Thursday, Andrew Cohen went after what I have written on the death penalty at National Review Online and in my book Freedomnomics, pushing the claim that “no reliable study by credible researchers has ever found any deterrent effect” from the death penalty.

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19 May , 2014

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What does the research on the death penalty actually show?

The 2012 National Research Council report on “Deterrence and the Death Penalty” has a table showing only 10 panel studies on the death penalty (those shown above in plain type). No explanation is provided for why these studies are excluded. I have placed one of my studies showing some weak support for the death penalty in the “no clear effect” column, but it presumably would have been difficult for them to include that and ignore my other research showing a clear and consistent benefit from these laws.…

13 May , 2014

CPRC: “Another Round in the Death-Penalty Debate,” Correcting mistakes in the Washington Post

On Sunday in the Washington Post, Radley Balko attacked a recent piece that CPRC’s John Lott had on the death penalty. John Lott’s piece that responds to Balko starts this way:

The death-penalty debate goes on. After a piece that I wrote about the debate last week, National Review’s Charles C.

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8 May , 2014

CPRC at National Review: “The Shaky Case against the Death Penalty”

How far will death penalty opponents go to advance their cause? Our newest piece at National Review Online starts this way:

After the recent mishandled execution in Oklahoma, in which the murderer ended up dying from a heart attack, death-penalty opponents pounced.

Not surprisingly, the Sunday-morning talk shows focused on whether we should keep the death penalty.

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7 May , 2014

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Is the death penalty racist? Are executions disproportionately affecting any particular race?


Data on homicide offenders by race from 1976 to 2005 is available here. After that the data is available from the annual FBI UCR reports.
The bottom line is that while whites account for less than half of murderers, they are almost two-thirds of those who are murdered.
If one looks at the rate of death penalty convictions by race, you will also see that whites are disproportionately likely to have death penalty convictions.…

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7 May , 2014

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Are there any cases where DNA evidence proves that an innocent person was put to death?


The one modern case that death penalty opponents point to that comes closest to meeting this claim involves Claude Jones Texas, who was convicted in 1989 and executed in 2000. Two pieces of evidence were involved in his trial: the testimony of two accomplice who planned the robbery with Jones and who provided him with the gun used in the killing as well as a hair sample at the scene that turned out to be someone else’s.…