A deterrence study of the death penalty in Illinois, 1933-1980

Scott Decker, Carol W. Kohfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study analyzes the effect of executions and the death penalty on homicides in Illinois. A forty-eight year time series (1933-1980 inclusive) is used as the basis for this analysis. The first series of results are presented in a graph of executions and homicides by year. A second portion of the analysis compares the mean homicide rates for three time periods-years with executions, years when the death penalty was allowed but no executions were performed, and years in which the death penalty was abolished by the U.S. Supreme Court. No notable differences in homicide rates were observed for these three eras. Finally, a regression analysis was performed which included a lag structure and several relevant controls. The deterrence measure (executions) made no contribution to the variation in homicide rates. Thus, the authors conclude that there is no deterrent effect for the death penalty on homicides in Illinois.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-377
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

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Capital Punishment
death penalty
Homicide
deterrence
homicide
time series
Supreme Court
regression analysis
Regression Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

A deterrence study of the death penalty in Illinois, 1933-1980. / Decker, Scott; Kohfeld, Carol W.

In: Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 12, No. 4, 1984, p. 367-377.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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