Recent Supreme Court decisions and public opinion polls show increased support for the use of the death penalty. Much research has been conducted to assess the effect of executions on homicide rates. Most of this research, however, has been conducted at levels of aggregation different from that at which the policy is formulated and imposed. This study looks at the effect of executions on homicides in one state, Missouri, for a fifty year period. Three different types of analysis are presented. No support for the deterrence hypothesis is found. It is argued that these results are of particular significance because of the level of aggregation and time series employed.
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