U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Empirical Analysis of the Effect of the Death Penalty in Missouri

NCJ Number
Journal of Crime and Justice Volume: 10 Issue: 1 Dated: (1987) Pages: 23-46
S H Decker; C W Kohfeld
Date Published
24 pages
This analysis of the deterrent effectiveness of the death penalty in Missouri from 1933 to 1980 found no support for the deterrence hypothesis.
The State executed 62 people during that period, with peaks of 8 and 6 executions in 1938 and 1933 and no executions in 27 of the years. The analysis used three periods: (1) 1933-1945, in which executions were used most often; (2) 1945-1966, when executions were threatened but used less often; and (3) 1966-1980, which included both the effects of the threat and the abolition of the death penalty. None of the following four analytic approaches showed deterrent effects of executions: (1) graphs of different eras; (2) differences of mean homicide rates for threat, use, and abolition eras; (3) correlations, and (4) a multivariate time-series analysis. Thus, the death penalty does not deter homicide in Missouri. Figure, tables, and 41 references.


No download available