Did you know that states with lowest murder rates and no death penalty are usually the ones with lowest murder rates in general, regardless of the death penalty? The 3 states on our list that have the lowest murder rates are actually the ones that have the lowest murder rates in the entire US (counting states with the death penalty). This is a very interesting fact, because it raises many questions about the effect that capital punishment has on people, especially on criminals. For more of our thoughts on this subject, you can check out our “contrary” list of 10 states with highest murder rates despite death penalty.
Just as there are studies that indicate that the death penalty has no noticeable effect in deterring crimes, there are also studies with results favoring the opposite statement. It is only fair to say that there is no proper scientific evidence that can confirm one or the other beyond reasonable doubt. When it comes to many other social inquiries as well, we can’t be looking for a proof that has scientific certainty. This doesn’t mean, however, that we have to be clueless about every sociological debate. We can rely on statistic data like the ones that have provided us with relevant information to be able to create this list of 10 states with lowest murder rates and no death penalty; and we can also use our logic, and try to be impartial as much as we can. So, what does statistics say about lowest murder rates in the US? Out of 10 states with lowest murder rates, 6 of them are without the death penalty, and only 4 of them are the ones with this capital punishment. This situation is similar when we look at 10 states with the highest murder rates – only 3 of them are the non-death penalty states, and 7 of them are the ones that are carrying out legal executions. Even though this doesn’t provide us with enough information to ultimately conclude something, it does display for us some relevant data. When we look at the death penalty from a philosophical perspective, we can easily deduce that there is something unsettling about the state ordering the killing of a person. Don’t forget that the convicts will not be administering the lethal injection to themselves, nor will the handle that sets the electric chair off be magically pulled down by itself. Methods of execution vary from state to state, but all of them require the participation of another person.
Maybe in some of these ethical questions are hidden the indications that could answer the question – what kind of connection is there between the (non-)existence of the death penalty and the murder rates across states? While this ethical debate continues, we are here to provide you with relevant statistic data. Do you know how your state ranks when it comes to homicides? Is it in the top 10 states with the lowest murder rates? You don’t know? Ok, it is time for the list of 10 states with lowest murder rates and no death penalty (statistics are from Death Penalty Center, 2013):
10. Rhode Island
Murder rate per 100, 000 people: 2,9