Perhas the strongest argument in favour of retaining the death penalty is that it is a necessary deterrence to serious crime. The following was a slide presented during the Congress by Professor Jeffrey Fagan during the session "Progress and Setbacks in Asia: Lessons to be learnt"
The Problem with Deterrence
• No empirical evidence of a deterrent effect from execution. Theevidence was deeply flawed (NRC Report).
• Persons committing a death-eligible crime have motivations thatoverwhelm their worry about the possibility of execution.
• They also strongly discount the actual risk of arrest and execution
• There is no evidence that drug prices or drug markets are affected byexecutions for drug crimes.
• The claims that drug crimes cause deaths are based on poor empiricalevidence. If drugs do not cause deaths, there is no basis to assume
that executions will reduce deaths. It also is a moral hazard from
which there is no recovery.
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