An evaluation of the impact of capital punishment on deterrence of crimes

Monday, March 18, Evaluation of the death penalty Rooney.

An evaluation of the impact of capital punishment on deterrence of crimes

Max Gerber] I am often asked whether I agree with the new group selectionists, and the questioners are always surprised when I say I do not.

After all, group selection sounds like a reasonable extension of evolutionary theory and a plausible explanation of the social nature of humans. Also, the group selectionists tend to declare victory, and write as if their theory has already superseded a narrow, reductionist dogma that selection acts only at the level of genes.

In this essay, I'll explain why I think that this reasonableness is an illusion. The more carefully you think about group selection, the less sense it makes, and the more poorly it fits the facts of human psychology and history.

The problem is that it also obfuscates evolutionary theory by blurring genes, individuals, and groups as equivalent levels in a hierarchy of selectional units; Most importantly, it has placed blinkers on psychological understanding by seducing many people into simply equating morality and culture with group selection, oblivious to alternatives that are theoretically deeper and empirically more realistic.

Does this mean that the human brain has been shaped by natural selection to promote the welfare of the group in competition with other groups, even when it damages the welfare of the person and his or her kin? If so, does the theory of natural selection have to be revamped to designate "groups" as units of selection, analogous to the role played in the theory by genes?

Several scientists whom I greatly respect have said so in prominent places.

An evaluation of the impact of capital punishment on deterrence of crimes

And they have gone on to use the theory of group selection to make eye-opening claims about the human condition. Wilson explains, "In a group, selfish individuals beat altruistic individuals.

But, groups of altruistic individuals beat groups of selfish individuals. They suggest that evolution has equipped humans to solve tragedies of the commons also known as collective action dilemmas and public goods gamesin which actions that benefit the individual may harm the community; familiar examples include overfishing, highway congestion, tax evasion, and carbon emissions.

And they have drawn normative moral and political conclusions from these scientific beliefs, such as that we should recognize the wisdom behind conservative values, like religiosity, patriotism, and puritanism, and that we should valorize a communitarian loyalty and sacrifice for the good of the group over an every-man-for-himself individualism.

I am often asked whether I agree with the new group selectionists, and the questioners are always surprised when I say I do not. Why does this matter? I'll try to show that it has everything to do with our best scientific understanding of the evolution of life and the evolution of human nature.

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And though I won't take up the various moral and political colorings of the debate here I have discussed them elsewhereit ultimately matters for understanding how best to deal with the collective action problems facing our species.

The first big problem with group selection is that the term itself sows so much confusion. People invoke it to refer to many distinct phenomena, so casual users may literally not know what they are talking about. I have seen "group selection" used as a loose synonym for the evolution of organisms that live in groups, and for any competition among groups, such as human warfare.

Sometimes the term is needlessly used to refer to an individual trait that happens to be shared by the members of a group; as the evolutionary biologist George Williams noted,"a fleet herd of deer" is really just a herd of fleet deer.

And sometimes the term is used as a way of redescribing the conventional gene-level theory of natural selection in different words:Feb 17,  · The content, strategies and methods of outreach and public information must be based on evidence, localizing outreach and responding to the needs and expectations of heterogeneous communities affected by mass violence.

An Evaluation of the Impact of Capital Punishment on Deterrence of Crimes PAGES 2. WORDS 1, View Full Essay. More essays like this: capital punishment. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed.

- Jenna Kraig, student @ UCLA. 5 The Crime Prevention Effects of Incarceration 1. As discussed in previous chapters, the growth in U.S.

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incarceration rates over the past 40 years was propelled by changes in sentencing and penal policies that were intended, in part, to improve public safety and reduce crime.


INTRODUCTION The death penalty in the United States is used almost exclusively for the crime of murder. Although state and federal statutes contain various capital crimes other than those involving the death of the victim, only two people were on death row for a non-murder offense (Patrick Kennedy and Richard Davis in Louisiana) when the U.S. Supreme Court addressed this issue in death penalty can be an effective deterrent against specific crimes. Richard M. Nixon (March 10, ) the impact, if any, of capital punishment from that if all the other variables. capital punishment, and deterrence: a review of the literature," chapter 9 in Bedau (), note 2. James Poterba, president James Poterba is President of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also the Mitsui Professor of Economics at M.I.T.

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This page is just one of this website's over 2, pages of factual documentation and resources on corporal punishment around the world.

Have a look at the site's front page or go to the explanatory page, About this website. a concept based on the premise that a person is best deterred from committing future crimes by the nature of the punishment incapacitation deterrence based on the premise that the only way to prevent criminals from reoffending is to remove them from society.

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