Three progressive prosecutors, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Mark Gonzalez and Wesley Bell, argued in their Aug. 18 op-ed, “Why prosecutors want criminal-justice reform,” that their more lenient approach, such as not seeking “the death penalty,” will not lead to an “increase in crime.”
They might be mistaken. Researchers have found that harsh penalties deter crime more effectively than lenient penalties. Each execution deters three to 18 murders, according to studies by professors at Emory University
and others. Thus, the death penalty could potentially save many innocent lives — if more prosecutors were willing to seek it against murderers.