When capital punishment is the sentence, however, this issue takes on new importance.
To answer this question, they use a statistical method called “survival analysis,” a technique often used to calculate the effectiveness of medical treatments.
After examining 7,482 cases, they estimate that 1 in 25 death row inmates are wrongly convicted.
In his concurrent opinion in the 2006 Supreme Court case suggests that the figure could be higher.
Authors Samuel Gross (University of Michigan Law School), Barbara O’Brien (Michigan State University College of Law), Chen Hu (American College of Radiology) and Edward H.
The Innocence Project, a litigation and public policy organization founded in 1992, has been deeply involved in many such cases. A chief way proponents of capital punishment defend the practice is the idea that the death penalty deters other people from committing future crimes. Donohue III (Yale Law School) and Justin Wolfers (University of Pennsylvania) applies economic theory to the issue: If people act as rational maximizers of their profits or well-being, perhaps there is reason to believe that the most severe of punishments would serve as a deterrent.
(The findings of their 2009 study on this issue, “Estimating the Impact of the Death Penalty on Murder,” are inconclusive.) In contrast, one could also imagine a scenario in which capital punishment leads to an increased homicide rate because of a broader perception that the state devalues human life.
Over the past year the death penalty has again come into focus as a major public policy and political issue, catalyzed by several high-profile events.
The botched execution of convicted murderer and rapist Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma in 2014 was seen as a potential turning point in the debate, bringing increased attention to the mechanisms by which persons are executed.
Scholarly research sheds light on a number of important aspects of this issue: False convictions One key reason for the contentious debate is the concern that states are executing innocent people.
How many people are unjustly facing the death penalty?