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Pedantry corner

This pdf has interesting time series of UK data from 1900 onwards by decade.

I've just used it in a discussion about hanging. Before WWII, the murder rate in the UK was around 8 per million (it's now up to around 14). Murder carried an automatic death sentence but the rate of hangings was around 13 a year showing that most were commuted to life sentences. Given that the population was around 40 million, the hanging rate was 0.3 per million.

It wasn't a discussion about the deterrent effect although I do tend to agree that capital punishment deters one person from committing more crime.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 17th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, very well researched data in the USA has found no deterrent effects between similar places that have and have not got the penalty. it scares the middle classes, but you stand a much higher chance of not getting commuted if you are poor, stupid or black - and as that applies to a large extent to younger men who are most likely to believe they are invulnerable anyway...

I think I have seen some stats that showed the murder rate had short-term correlation against the availability of guns (hence the post-45 blip), against a falling long-term availability in the general population. In the USA, the is a huge correlation for suicide - easy access to fatal weapons, etc.

Interesting stats, thanks
Feb. 17th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC)
That's great, what a terrific resource!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )