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Britain, the Death Penalty, and Deterrence

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Timothy Stanley of Royal Holloway College has this article in the London Telegraph:

Britain is talking seriously about the death penalty for the first time in over a decade. It was last discussed in Parliament when the Human Rights Act was passed in 1998, and now blogger Paul Staines (of Guido Fawkes fame) is petitioning for another House of Commons debate in 2011. We can expect anti-death penalty campaigners to point to America as an example of why it should stay banned. The usual images will be invoked of pot-bellied, racist, white judges sentencing innocent saints to death by chainsaw in some Alabama charnel house. Accepting the many obvious injustices in the US legal system, there is an instinctive British snobbery towards Americans that renders any comparison between our two countries unflattering. Amnesty International, Liberty and the New Statesman will probably ask, "Why would we endorse a system of retribution practiced by those knuckle-dragging, Bible bashing, toothless crazies over in Texas?" Well, here's one good reason: it works.

CJLF's collection of abstracts on deterrence is here.

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The CJLF collection of deterrence studies is a fabulous resource that I have used often. There are many, however, who won't have the chance to go through all of them. I was wondering if it would be possible to just say briefly how many support the idea that the DP deters, how many oppose, and how many are indeterminate. It might also be helpful it you could opine which of them you view as the most understandable to a layman and the most persuasive.

Thanks for bringing up this British piece, which is also noted today on Sentencing Law & Policy.

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