The recent executions of Larry Mann, Elmer Carroll and William Van Poyck and the passage of legislation to speed up executions point out how far out of step Florida is with national and international trends. Recently Maryland became the sixth state in six years to abolish the death penalty. The actions of Maryland and other states are in line with virtually all of the social science evidence.
There is virtually no evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent to homicide. A recent survey of 77 leading criminologists indicated that 88 percent thought that the death penalty was not a deterrent, while only 5 percent thought that it was, with 7 percent undecided. Eighty percent of executions have been in the South, which consistently has the highest homicide rate, while only 1 percent has been in the Northeast, which consistently has the lowest homicide rate.
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