Economics of Crime Response for Question A Essay
There have been fundamental disagreements among social scientists over the existence and strength of deterrence effects of the death penalty. The disagreements centers on specific areas in research methodology. Notably, the presence of skewed samples in earlier and current research derives weak and inconclusive empirical support about the deterrence effects of the death penalty (Donohue & Wolfers 2). The absence of research studies that substantiate the claim that death penalty is a deterrent heightens the disagreements (Donohue & Wolfers 1). Moreover, the flawed statistical evidence in support of death penalty as deterrence provides a leeway for disagreements among social scientists. Indeed, some models like Ehrlich’s model assert that there is no correlation between death penalty and deterrent since some social scientists that support the existence and strength of deterrence effects of the death penalty relied on inconsistent data (Sunstein & Vermeule 711). Ultimately, the fragile conclusions and noisy data led to unconfirmed deterrence hypothesis that fosters disagreements about the deterrence effects of the death penalty (Donohue & Wolfers 3). The unconfirmed conclusions raise fundamental questions. Furthermore, the federal government is yet to conduct sufficient experiments about capital punishment policy to derive agreeable hypothesis (Donohue & Wolfers 5).
Response for Question B
Despite the existence of a factual resolution to deterrence effects of the death penalty, a positive analysis over the issue is so problematic. This emanates from the fact that the factual resolutions relied on unsubstantiated research and questionable data. Moreover, social scientists cannot establish whether the factual resolutions relied on evidence that has attained threshold of reliability (Donohue & Wolfers 1). Indeed, nobody is certain whether the factual resolutions show the deterrence effects of the death penalty. The skewed samples used to derive empirical support for the deterrence effects do not justify the factual resolutions thus jeopardizing positive analysis over the issue. Moreover, the estimates and conclusions that derive the factual resolution to deterrence effects of the death penalty are not credible (Donohue & Wolfers 2). The only way to conduct a positive analysis over the deterrence effects of the death penalty would be to run an unethical study that would involve executing convicted criminals and analyzing how the executions influence future murders (Donohue & Wolfers 2).
Response for Question C
Donohue who opposes the capital punishment makes a strong contribution to the topic by supporting the idea that there is no substantiated evidence to show that the death penalty is a deterrent. Donohue calls for credible, substantiated, consistent, and reliable evidence to confirm the deterrence effects of the death penalty (Donohue & Wolfers 2). On the other hand, Sunstein who supports capital punishment makes a strong contribution to the debate by recognizing the need for evidence of deterrence to attain a threshold of reliability (Donohue & Wolfers 1). Sunstein supports the idea of a serious commitment to the sanctity of human life in implementing the death penalty (Sunstein & Vermeule 747).
Response for Question D
Becker established a model that applies to deterrence of death penalty. Becker’s model relies on the powerful fear of death to support the death penalty as deterrence to future homicides (Donohue & Wolfers 3). Another part of Becker’s model that applies to deterrence of death penalty includes the number of crimes and their resultant effects. The cost of arresting and convicting offenders and the type of punishments meted on convicts also applies to deterrence of death penalty (Becker 5). The public expenditures on imprisonments or alternative punishments for convicted murders are another part of Becker’s model that supports the application of the death penalty as deterrence offenses (Becker 5).
Donohue, John J, and Justin Wolfers. “The Death Penalty: No Evidence for Deterrence.” Economist’s Voice, April 2006. Web. 22 March 2015.
Becker, Gary S. “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach.” Journal of Political Economy 76.2 (March/April 1968): 1-54. Print.
Sunstein, Cass R, and Adrian Vermeule. “Is Capital Punishment Morally Required: Acts, Omissions, and Life-Life Tradeoffs.” Stanford Law Review 58.3(2005): 703-750.