2/26/2008

Another case where a criminal begs to avoid the death penalty

It is hard to understand how death penalty opponents can see all these murders begging not to be executed and not believe that the death penalty serves as a deterrent. This from CNN:

A former police officer convicted of murdering his girlfriend and their unborn child tearfully apologized to her family Monday in front of the jury that will decide whether he lives or dies.

Bobby Cutts Jr. weeps openly as his mother describes his childhood during a sentencing hearing.
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"It was a nightmare that will continue to haunt me for the rest of my days," said Bobby Cutts, Jr., 30, reading from a prepared statement at the penalty phase of his murder trial.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm asking you to spare my life." . . .

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does a criminal pleading for his life after committing a heinous crime evidence it serves as a deterrent for... heinous crimes? While it may seem logical that if convicted criminals fear and plead for their lives after the fact there must be others who were deterred from committing the crimes, it is in no way any sort of proof this is in fact the case.

2/26/2008 6:06 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonoymous:

The criminal definitely prefers life imprisonment to the death penalty. The death penalty must thus represent more of a penalty for him.

2/26/2008 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is hard to understand how death penalty opponents can see all these murder[er]s begging not to be executed and not believe that the death penalty serves as a deterrent."

Well, he obviously wasn't deterred since he committed the crime. Just because someone, with lots of time to reflect, can see that one of two choices of punishment may be worse, doesn't make it a deterrent at the time of commission. Few people want to be executed, yet somehow, murders are still committed. And let's not forget the unacceptable numbers of wrongly convicted! Maybe you could say that the death penalty deters criminals from wanting the death penalty?

5/19/2008 3:20 PM  

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