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Certain individuals who commit crimes do so at their own free will and many have no qualms as to the consequences of their actions To some it matters not the possibility that if they are caught there is the chance they may be executed Sometimes the crimes committed by certain persons are done so in a manner that would bewilder any other human being My personal belief is that there is no need for capital punishment in our society Advocates say that capital punishment is needed in order to deter future criminals but this is not entirely the case Research has shown that capital punishment as a deterrent has no positive or negative effect An influential student of the deterrence question Thorsten Sellin conducted a study that would attempt to determine the effect of capital punishment on future crime He studied the homicide rates in contiguous states some with and some without the death penalty on the assumption that these states were as alike as possible in character of population social and economic conditions etc His conclusion was that the death penalty had no effect on the murder rate Sellin 63 This is not to say that the study performed by Sellin was perfect for it did contain flaws In his attempt he looked for correlations between the homicide rate and the legal status of the death penalty rather than the number of executions actually carried out in the states where it was legal punishment As it may be true that contiguous states are similar in certain respects their differences may be quite apparent Sellin looked for characteristics evident in all of the states he compared but these same factors may not be part of the real reason that leads to homicide He had no way of knowing if these states were equal in all other respects such as apprehending and convicting those who commit murder There is simply no absolute in controlling all factors
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