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Execution and deterrence: a quasi-controlled group experiment

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Using portfolio analysis in a type of controlled group experiment, this study develops an empirical model of homicide changes in Texas over a period of a 'normal' number of executions. The empirically derived model then estimates the changes in the number of homicides in Texas (1) over a period of near zero executions and; (2) over an immediate subsequent period of double the 'normal' number of executions. The actual changes in Texas homicides over the first period is less than estimated by the model and greater (or no different) than estimated by the model in the second period. Because changes in the number of homicides in Texas and throughout the United States were negative over both periods, these empirical results are consistent with the deterrence hypothesis. That is, there were a greater than predicted number of homicides in the first period and fewer than predicted number in the second period.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-04-01

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