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Executions, Deterrence and Homicide - A Tale of Two Cities

Executions, Deterrence and Homicide - A Tale of Two Cities

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Published by Jacob George
Source: http://works.bepress.com/franklin_zimring/5/
Source: http://works.bepress.com/franklin_zimring/5/

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Published by: Jacob George on Mar 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/25/2011

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E
XECUTIONS
,
 
D
ETERRENCE AND
H
OMICIDE
:A
 
T
ALE OF
T
WO
C
ITIES
 
Franklin E. ZimringWilliam Simon Professor of Law
 
University of California, BerkeleySchool of Law Boalt Hall Berkeley, CA 94720Tel. 510 642 0854 Email fzimring@law.berkeley.edu  Jeffrey FaganProfessor of Law and Public HealthColumbia University Law School435 West 116 
th
Street  New York, NY 10027 Tel. 212 854 2624 Email jfagan@law.columbia.edu David T. JohnsonProfessor of SociologyUniversity of Hawaii, Saunders Hall 217  Honolulu, HI 96822Tel: 808-956-8462 Email: davidjoh@hawaii.edu August 31, 2009
 
August 2009
 Z 
 IMRING
 ,
 
 AGAN AND
 J 
OHNSON 
2
 
E
XECUTIONS
,
 
D
ETERRENCE AND
H
OMICIDE
:A
 
T
ALE OF
T
WO
C
ITIES
Franklin E. Zimring, Jeffrey Fagan, David T. Johnson
A
BSTRACT
We compare homicide rates in two quite similar cities with vastlydifferent execution risks. Singapore had an execution rate close to 1 per million per year until an explosive twentyfold increase in 1994-95 and96 to a level that we show was probably the highest in the world. Thenover the next 11 years, Singapore executions dropped by about 95%.Hong Kong, by contrast, has no executions all during the last generationand abolished capital punishment in 1993. Homicide levels and trendsare remarkably similar in these two cities over the 35 years after 1973,with neither the surge in Singapore executions nor the more recent steepdrop producing any differential impact.
By comparing two closelymatched places with huge contrasts in actual execution but no differences inhomicide trends, we have generated a unique test of the exuberant claims of deterrence that have been produced over the past decade in the U.S.
 
August 2009
 E 
 XECUTIONS AND
 H 
OMICIDES
3
 
E
XECUTIONS
,
 
D
ETERRENCE AND
H
OMICIDE
:
 
A
 
T
ALE OF
T
WO
C
ITIES
 
Franklin E. Zimring, Jeffrey Fagan and David T. Johnson
T
ABLE OF
C
ONTENTS
 I
 NTRODUCTION
..........................................................................................1I.
 
C
APITAL
P
UNISHMENT AND
H
OMICIDE IN
H
ONG
ONG
.........................5II.
 
E
XECUTION AND
H
OMICIDE IN
S
INGAPORE
..........................................6
 A. Estimated versus Actual Executions
..............................................7
 B. Executions for Murder 
................................................................10III.
 
H
OMICIDE AND
T
IME IN
S
INGAPORE AND
H
ONG
ONG
.....................14
 A. Model Specification
.....................................................................16
 B. Executions for Murder 
................................................................19C. The Specific Deterrent Effects of Executions for Murder..........23IV.
 
L
IMITS AND
I
MPLICATIONS
...............................................................25V. C
ONCLUSION
....................................................................................30VI. R 
EFERENCES
.....................................................................................32

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