|美国纽约时报今年9月22日发布一份调查报告，就全国50州过去二十年的 谋杀案件次数进行比对统计调查，发现，美国38个有死刑的州比12个废 除死刑的州，在过去二十年中的谋杀案件要多很多。
该调查显示，在过去20年中，有死刑的州的谋杀案件，要比已经废除死刑 的州的平均多出48-101％。 另根据http://mitglied.tripod.de/nannyogg/index.html， 若以相邻各州谋杀案件数比较，废死刑的州治安通常比执行死刑的州还要好： 例如废除死刑的Iowa, Massach., Wisconsin, W. Virginia， 比有死刑的Missouri, Connecticut, Illinos, Virginia谋杀案件少很多。
美国废除死刑的12州分别是： Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Nord Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine 以及Massachusetts.
By RAYMOND BONNER and FORD FESSENDEN
The dozen states that have chosen not to enact the death penalty since
the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that it was constitutionally
permissible have not had higher homicide rates than states with the
death penalty, government statistics and a new survey by The New York
Indeed, 10 of the 12 states without capital punishment have homicide
rates below the national average, Federal Bureau of Investigation data
shows, while half the states with the death penalty have homicide
rates above the national average. In a state-by- state analysis, The
Times found that during the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states
with the death penalty has been 48 percent to 101 percent higher than
in states without the death penalty.
The study by The Times also found that homicide rates had risen and
fallen along roughly symmetrical paths in the states with and without
the death penalty, suggesting to many experts that the threat of the
death penalty rarely deters criminals.
"It is difficult to make the case for any deterrent effect from these
numbers," said Steven Messner, a criminologist at the State University
of New York at Albany, who reviewed the analysis by The Times.
"Whatever the factors are that affect change in homicide rates, they
don't seem to operate differently based on the presence or absence of
the death penalty in a state."
That is one of the arguments most frequently made against capital
punishment in states without the death penalty ?that and the assertion
that it is difficult to mete out fairly. Opponents also maintain that
it is too expensive to prosecute and that life without parole is a
more efficient form of punishment.
Prosecutors and officials in states that have the death penalty are as
passionate about the issue as their counterparts in states that do not
have capital punishment. While they recognize that it is difficult to
make the case for deterrence, they contend that there are powerful
reasons to carry out executions. Rehabilitation is ineffective, they
argue, and capital punishment is often the only penalty that matches
the horrific nature of some crimes. Furthermore, they say, society has
a right to retribution and the finality of an execution can bring
closure for victims' families.
Polls show that these views are shared by a large number of Americans.
And, certainly, most states have death penalty statutes. Twelve states
have chosen otherwise, but their experiences have been largely
overlooked in recent discussions about capital punishment.
"I think Michigan made a wise decision 150 years ago," said the
state's governor, John Engler, a Republican. Michigan abolished the
death penalty in 1846 and has resisted attempts to reinstate it.
"We're pretty proud of the fact that we don't have the death penalty,"
Governor Engler said, adding that he opposed the death penalty on
moral and pragmatic grounds.
Governor Engler said he was not swayed by polls that showed 60 percent
of Michigan residents favored the death penalty. He said 100 percent
would like not to pay taxes.
In addition to Michigan, and its Midwestern neighbors Iowa, Minnesota,
North Dakota and Wisconsin, the states without the death penalty are
Alaska, Hawaii, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and
Massachusetts, where an effort to reinstate it was defeated last year.
No single factor explains why these states have chosen not to impose
capital punishment. Culture and religion play a role, as well as
political vagaries in each state. In West Virginia, for instance, the
state's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette, supported a drive
to abolish the death penalty there in 1965. Repeated efforts to
reinstate the death penalty have been rebuffed by the legislature.
The arguments for and against the death penalty have not changed much.
At Michigan's constitutional convention in 1961, the delegates heard
arguments that the death penalty was not a deterrent, that those
executed were usually the poor and disadvantaged, and that innocent
people had been sentenced to death.
"The same arguments are being made today," said Eugene G. Wanger, who
had introduced the language to enshrine a ban on capital punishment in
Michigan's constitution at that convention. The delegates
overwhelmingly adopted the ban, 141 to 3. Mr. Wanger said two- thirds
of the delegates were Republicans, like himself, and most were
conservative. Last year, a former state police officer introduced
legislation to reinstate the death penalty. He did not even get the
support of the state police association, and the legislation died.
In Minnesota, which abolished capital punishment in 1911, 60 percent
of the residents support the death penalty, said Susan Gaertner, a
career prosecutor in St. Paul and the elected county attorney there
since 1994. But public sentiment had not translated into legislative
action, Ms. Gaertner said. "The public policy makers in Minnesota
think the death penalty is not efficient, it is not a deterrent, it is
a divisive form of punishment that we simply don't need," she said.
In Honolulu, the prosecuting attorney, Peter Carlisle, said he had
changed his views about capital punishment, becoming an opponent,
after looking at the crime statistics and finding a correlation
between declines in general crimes and in the homicide rates. "When
the smaller crimes go down ?the quality of life crimes ?then the
murder rate goes down," Mr. Carlisle said.
Therefore, he said, it was preferable to spend the resources available
to him prosecuting these general crimes. Prosecuting a capital case is
"extremely expensive," he said.
By the very nature of the gravity of the case, defense lawyers and
prosecutors spend far more time on a capital case than a noncapital
one. It takes longer to pick a jury, longer for the state to present
its case and longer for the defense to put on its witnesses. There are
also considerably greater expenses for expert witnesses, including
psychologists and, these days, DNA experts. Then come the defendant's
appeals, which can be considerable, but are not the biggest cost of
the case, prosecutors say.
Mr. Carlisle said his views on the death penalty had not been affected
by the case of Bryan K. Uyesugi, a Xerox copy machine repairman who
gunned down seven co-workers last November in the worst mass murder in
Hawaii's history. Mr. Uyesugi was convicted in June and is serving
life without chance of parole.
Mr. Carlisle has doubts about whether the death penalty is a
deterrent. "We haven't had the death penalty, but we have one of the
lowest murder rates in the country," he said. The F.B.I.'s statistics
for 1998, the last year for which the data is available, showed
Hawaii's homicide rate was the fifth-lowest.
The homicide rate in North Dakota, which does not have the death
penalty, was lower than the homicide rate in South Dakota, which does
have it, according to F.B.I. statistics for 1998. Massachusetts, which
abolished capital punishment in 1984, has a lower rate than
Connecticut, which has six people on death row; the homicide rate in
West Virginia is 30 percent below that of Virginia, which has one of
the highest execution rates in the country.
Other factors affect homicide rates, of course, including unemployment
and demographics, as well as the amount of money spent on police,
prosecutors and prisons.
But the analysis by The Times found that the demographic profile of
states with the death penalty is not far different from that of states
without it. The poverty rate in states with the death penalty, as a
whole, was 13.4 percent in 1990, compared with 11.4 percent in states
without the death penalty.
Mr. Carlisle's predecessor in Honolulu, Keith M. Kaneshiro, agrees
with him about deterrence. "I don't think there's a proven study that
says it's a deterrent," Mr. Kaneshiro said. Still, he said, he
believed that execution was warranted for some crimes, like a contract
killing or the slaying of a police officer. Twice while he was
prosecuting attorney, Mr. Kaneshiro got a legislator to introduce a
limited death penalty bill, but, he said, they went nowhere.
In general, Mr. Kaneshiro said, Hawaiians fear that the death penalty
would be given disproportionately to racial minorities and the poor.
In Milwaukee, the district attorney for the last 32 years, E. Michael
McCann, shares the view that the death penalty is applied unfairly to
minorities. "It is rare that a wealthy white man gets executed, if it
happens at all," Mr. McCann said.
Those who "have labored long in the criminal justice system know,
supported by a variety of studies and extensive personal experience,
that blacks get the harsher hand in criminal justice and particularly
in capital punishment cases," Mr. McCann wrote in "Opposing Capital
Punishment: A Prosecutor's Perspective," published in the Marquette
Law Review in 1996. Forty-three percent of the people on death row
across the country are African-Americans, according to the NAACP Legal
Defense and Educational Fund.
The death penalty also has been employed much more often when the
victim was white ?82 percent of the victims of death row inmates were
white, while only 50 percent of all homicide victims were white.
Supporters of capital punishment who say that executions are justified
by the heinous nature of some crimes often cite the case of Jeffrey L.
Dahmer, the serial killer who murdered and dismembered at least 17
boys and men, and ate flesh from at least one of his victims.
Mr. McCann prosecuted Mr. Dahmer, but the case did not dissuade him
from his convictions on the death penalty. "To participate in the
killing of another human being, it diminishes the respect for life.
Period," Mr. McCann said. He added, "Although I am a district
attorney, I have a gut suspicion of the state wielding the power of
the death over anybody."
In Detroit, John O'Hair, the district attorney, similarly ponders the
role of the state when looking at the death penalty.
Borrowing from Justice Louis E. Brandeis, Mr. O'Hair said: "Government
is a teacher, for good or for bad, but government should set the
example. I do not believe that government engaging in violence or
retribution is the right example. You don't solve violence by
Detroit has one of the highest homicide rates in the United States
?five times more than New York in 1998 ?but Mr. O'Hair said bringing
back the death penalty is not the answer.
"I do not think the death penalty is a deterrent of any consequence in
preventing murders," said Mr. O'Hair, who has been a prosecutor and
judge for 30 years. Most homicides, he said, are "impulsive actions,
crimes of passion," in which the killers do not consider the
consequences of what they are doing.
Nor, apparently, do the people of Detroit see the death penalty as a
way of cutting crime. Only 45 percent of Detroit residents favored
capital punishment, a poll by EPIC/MRA, a polling organization in
Lansing, Mich., found last year; in Michigan over all, 59 percent
favored executions, which is roughly the level of support for the
death penalty nationally.
To illustrate the point that killers rarely considered the
consequences of their actions, a prosecutor in Des Moines, John
Sarcone, described the case of four people who murdered two elderly
women. They killed one in Iowa, but drove the other one across the
border to Missouri, a state that has the death penalty.
Mr. Sarcone said Iowa prosecutors were divided on the death penalty,
and legislation to reinstate it was rejected by the
Republican-controlled legislature in 1997. The big issue was cost, he
Last year in Michigan, Larry Julian, a Republican from a rural
district, introduced legislation that would put the death penalty
option to a referendum.
But Mr. Julian, a retired state police officer, had almost no
political support for the bill, not even from the Michigan State
Troopers Association, he said, and the bill died without a full vote.
The Catholic Church lobbied against it.
State officials in Michigan are generally satisfied with the current
law. "Our policies in Michigan have worked without the death penalty,"
said Matthew Davis, spokesman for the Michigan Department of
Corrections. "Instituting it now may not be the most effective use of
Today in Michigan, 2,572 inmates are serving sentences of life without
parole, and they tend to cause fewer problems than the general prison
population, Mr. Davis said.
They are generally quieter, not as insolent, more likely to obey the
rules and less likely to try to escape, he said. Their motivation is
quite clear, he said: to get into a lower security classification.
When they come in, they are locked up 23 hours a day, 7 days a week,
and fed through a small hole in the door. After a long period of good
behavior, they can live in a larger cell, which is part of a larger,
brighter room, eat with 250 other prisoners, and watch television.
One thing they cannot look forward to is getting out. In Michigan,
life without parole means you stay in prison your entire natural life,
not that you get out after 30 or 40 years, Mr. Davis said.
In many states, when life without parole is an option the public's
support for the death penalty drops sharply. "The fact that we have
life without parole takes a lot of impetus from people who would like
to see the death penalty," said Ms. Gaertner, the chief prosecutor in
In most states with the death penalty, life without parole is not an
option for juries. In Texas, prosecutors have successfully lobbied
against legislation that would give juries the option of life without
parole instead of the death penalty.
Mr. Davis said a desire "to extract a pound of flesh" was behind many
of the arguments for capital punishment. "But that pound of flesh
comes at a higher price than a lifetime of incarceration."
Mr. O'Hair, the Detroit prosecutor said, "If you're after retribution,
vengeance, life in prison without parole is about as punitive as you