Retribution and Deterrence of the Death Penalty

“Based on my specialized knowledge of this process, I now conclude that the death penalty as a form of punishment should be abolished because the execution of individuals does not appear to measurably advance the retribution and deterrence purposes served by the death penalty; the life without parole option adequately protects society at large in the same way as the death penalty punishment option; and the risk of executing an innocent person for a capital murder is unreasonably high, particularly in light of procedural-default laws and the prevalence of ineffective trial and initial habeas counsel.”

– Judge Tom Price, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals; Ex parte Panetti (No. WR-37,145-04), in his 11/26/14 dissent of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ denial of Mr. Scott Panetti’s writ seeking to halt his scheduled execution. The 5th Circuit halted the execution on 12/3/14, acknowledging the “complex legal questions at issue,” presumably that of imposing the death penalty on someone with severe mental illness.

2 Comments  to   Retribution and Deterrence of the Death Penalty

  1. Dudley Sharp says:


    Of course the death penalty deters.

    The evidence that the death penalty deters some is overwhelming.

    The evidence that the death penalty deters none, does not exist.

    Full review:

    The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues

    OF COURSE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS: A review of the debate

  2. Dudley Sharp says:

    Scott Panetti has had 22 years of motions and appeals, all denied, wherein no state or federal judge has found Panetti to be insane or delusional.

    No surprise.

    “The attorney general’s brief included an affidavit from the state’s director of mental health services for the Texas prison system, Dr. Joseph V. Penn, stating that none of the 14 mental health staff who have met with Panetti since 2004 have “identified any clinical signs and symptoms indicating a psychiatric diagnosis or required the need for additional mental health or psychiatric treatment such as psychotropic medications.”

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