- June 6, 2016
Does the death penalty deter crime? No.
There is no credible information with the last 50 years of research indicating that the death penalty deters violent crime. In 2013, murder rates were 23% lower in states without the death penalty. The Death Penalty Information Center says: "The last decade of reports from the FBI indicates states without the death penalty have lower murder rates than states with the death penalty."
Does the death penalty save money? No, it costs more.
Legal costs, pre-trial costs, jury selection, trial, incarceration, appeals, retrial costs make the death penalty expensive. A 2014 nonpartisan study by the Kansas Legislature found that death penalty cases cost 3-4 times more than similar cases where the death penalty is not sought.
Are innocent people convicted? YES: MISTAKES HAPPEN.
Exculpatory DNA has overturned hundreds of wrongful convictions.Since 1973, there have been 155 individuals in the U.S. sentenced to death and later exonerated. Four of these exonerations occurred in Missouri.
Racial Injustice in Application of Missouri's Death Penalty
Between 1976 and 2014, the state of Missouri executed 80 men. Eighty-one percent of these men were executed for the murder of White victims. This is striking given that 60 percent of all homicide victims in Missouri are Black. White women represent just 12 percent of all homicide victims, but constitute 37 percent of the victims in execution cases. Black men, by contrast, represent 52 percent of all homicide victims, but just 12 percent of the individuals who were executed were convicted of killing Black men.
- Homicides involving White victims are seven times more likely to result in an execution than those involving Black victims.
- Homicides involving White female victims are nearly 14 times more likely to result in an execution than those involving Black male victims.
- Eighty-one percent of the individuals executed in Missouri were convicted of killing White victims even though White victims are less than 40% of all murder victims in the state.
- Even though the vast majority of murders involve an offender and victim(s) of the same race, 54% of the African-American men executed by Missouri were convicted of crimes involving White victims.