Daily Revolt

June 11, 2007

Studies: Death Penalty Deters Crime

Three U.S. soldiers killed in bombing of Iraq bridge
A suicide car bomb attack on a bridge overpass south of Baghdad late on Sunday killed three U.S. soldiers and wounded six more[...]

Democrats to Push Vote on Gonzales
[...]few of the Senate's 100 members are rushing to defend Gonzales. What goodwill remained toward him after the firings of eight federal prosecutors over the winter seemed to fade after the attorney general told a Senate committee dozens of times that he could not recall key details.

[...]Even before the firings, Republicans and Democrats alleged widespread abuses of the USA Patriot Act's wiretapping authority by the Justice Department and the appearance that the traditionally independent law enforcement agency is being run too much at the White House's behest.

Afghan Leader not Cowed by Rocket Attack: spokesman
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has no plans to restrict his travel or beef up personal security after surviving a third assassination attempt in a rocket attack outside the capital, a presidential spokesman said on Monday.

Taliban insurgents fired several rockets at a building where Karzai was giving a speech on Sunday. They fell harmlessly wide of their target but the incident highlighted the dangers for Karzai of traveling outside his heavily fortified base in Kabul.

China Drafting Space Law
China is drafting laws governing outer space, state media on Monday quoted the country's first astronaut as saying at a time when Beijing's space drive is drawing growing international concern.

[...]Beijing's space plans face increasing international scrutiny amid fears about a potential space arms race with the United States and other powers.

Iraq Parliament Speaker Removed
Parliament voted Monday in a closed session to remove the speaker after a series of scandals involving the controversial lawmaker, legislators said. Mahmoud al-Mashhadani will be replaced by another Sunni Arab, they said.

[...]Last year, he barely survived a campaign by Shiite and Kurdish politicians to remove him after he said Iraqis who killed American troops should be celebrated as heroes. Last month, he slapped a fellow Sunni lawmaker in the face and called him "scum" at the end of a raucous session.

Studies say Death Penalty Deters Crime
[...]a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.

[...]"Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it," said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. "The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect."

A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. "The results are robust, they don't really go away," he said. "I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?"

U.S. Arming Sunnis in Iraq to Battle Old Qaeda Allies
With the four-month-old increase in American troops showing only modest success in curbing insurgent attacks, American commanders are turning to another strategy that they acknowledge is fraught with risk: arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past.

[...]In some cases, the American commanders say, the Sunni groups are suspected of involvement in past attacks on American troops or of having links to such groups. Some of these groups, they say, have been provided, usually through Iraqi military units allied with the Americans, with arms, ammunition, cash, fuel and supplies.

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