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Monday, 05 November 2007



Here are responses to Keys post that he hasn't really responded to:

1) It would be nice if you noted that not all states with the death penalty actually use it. If you were to breakout the states by the rate that they use the death penalty, you would find that states when states use it more frequently they have a larger drop in murder rates. This is in fact what the studies that find a drop indeed look at.

2) The Harcourt paper is unusual in that it doesn’t separately take into account the impact of imprisonment and locking people away for mental health reasons.

3) About 3/4’s of all the research by economists find that increased execution rates reduce murder. The few studies that don’t include strange measures of the execution rate (e.g., executions per person in prison instead of per murder).

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The StandDown Texas Project

  • The StandDown Texas Project was organized in 2000 to advocate a moratorium on executions and a state-sponsored review of Texas' application of the death penalty. To stand down is to go off duty temporarily, especially to review safety procedures.

Steve Hall

  • Project Director Steve Hall was chief of staff to the Attorney General of Texas from 1983-1991; he was an administrator of the Texas Resource Center from 1993-1995. He has worked for the U.S. Congress and several Texas legislators. Hall is a former journalist.
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