Murder Stats England & Wales 1812-1842

Hertford Mercury and Reformer, 30th September 1843

Transcript

Capital punishment for murder

Parliamentary paper has been published, which presents considerable reason for doubting whether capital punishments have the effect of diminishing the frequency of the crime of murder. The first table in the paper is very gratifying, as shewing the diminutiion of the crime in England and Wales since the year 1812:-

Committal’s and executions for murder

                                                                        Committed            Executed

6 years ending December 1818                        444                        122

6 years ending December 1824                        407                        91

6 years ending December 1830                        411                        75

6 years ending December 1836                        413                        74

6 years ending December 1842                        351                        50

Second table gives four years in which all the persons convicted of murder were executed, and shows that in the years immediately following there was an increase of 12.9%, in the commitments for the crime; and it also gives four years in which the smallest proportion of those convicted for murder were executed, and shows that in the years immediately following there was a decrease of 17.1% in the commitments for the crime. This is just the reverse of what might have been expected, if capital punishments were effectual in deterring from the commission of murder; and it at least affords room for questioning whether such is the effect of executions.

(Note the paper doesn’t publish the 2nd table !)

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