The "Pardon Effect" - economic theory applied to the death penalty Pardons increase homicide rates. "The pardon effect is a matter of simple market economics... pardons reduce the chances that convicted killers will pay the ultimate price for committing murder. Thus a pardon represents a decrease in the cost of committing the crime and is accompanied by an increase in the homicide rate. Conversely, if you increase the "cost" of committing murder by executing a larger share of convicted killers, then economic theory suggests that the murder rate will fall" . The chairman of the economics department at the University of Colorado claims to have the data to support the theory from their analysis of all 6,143 death sentences handed out between 1977 and 1997 in the United States.
posted by Voyageman
on Jan 24, 2002 -