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August 08, 1980 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-08-08

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Page 10-Friday, August 8, 1980--The Michigan Daily
Executions may cause murders


BOSTON (AP) - Rather than deter
crime, highly publicized executions
may actually provoke two or three
killings that never would have oc-
curred, two researchers report in a
sociological study.
The study, to be published in October
in "The Journal of Crime and
Delinquency," appears to discredit the
contention of death penalty proponents
that capital punishment detersnand
reduces violent crime.
"IN NEW YORK State over the
period 1907-63 there were, on the
average, two additional homicides in
the month after an execution," wrote
William Bowers and Glenn Pierce of
Northeastern University's Center for
Applied Social Research.
"If executions have a brutalizing ef-
feet, as we find, a whole new issue is
raised on capital punishment," Bowers
said in an interview. "This is a punish-
ment that requires the sacrifice of in-
nocent people"
New York was chosen for the study,
Bowers said, since monthly statistics
on homicides were kept beginning in
1907 and since New York has executed
more persons --695 from 1890 to 1964 -
than anv otherentate

THE RESEARCHERS note their fin-
ding of two additional homicides in the
month after an execution may be low
because they do not take into account
homicides in the month when the
execution took place.
"There is room .to quarrel about
whether these data show a brutalizing
effect of two or three homicides, on the
average," they write.
The number, they write, may be even
higher since ". . . the audience for
executions in this era may . . . be
nationwide, suggesting that the in-
crease in homicides experienced by
New York State represents only a frac-
tion of what might be expected for the
nation asa whole."
Mount St.
From UPIand AP
VANCOUVER, Wash. - Mount St.
Helens erupted with a roar yesterday,
spewing a lightning-streaked steam
and ash cloud 44,000 feet skyward in a
pulsating blast that lasted for more
than 1 hours.
"Chances of a further burst are very
high and some of them could be
bigger," said Don Finley, spokesman
for the U.S. Geological Survey at
volcano watch headquarters shortly af-
ter the 7:28p.m. eruption.
ch.ar --ntia- _ ,i.;i ahnvP te+a 7-

THE RESEARCHERS do not know Marilyn Monroe's suicide provoked
exactly how executions may provoke some 363 suicides in the United States
homicides, Bowers said, but their fin- and Britain."
dings are consistent with studies of the One theory, say Bowers and Pierce,
effects of assassinations and mass is that people are not deterred from
murders. crime by executions because they can-
That research shows that in the not identify with criminals who are
month immediately following highly executed.
publicized violent events, crime rates "These are wretched people and we
as measured by the FBI have increased tend to identify with admirable
significantly - aggravated assault and people," Bowers said. "So some people
homicide," he said may identify their worst enemies,
Their finding of a "brutalizing effect" people whom they despise, with persons
is also consistent, Pierce and Bowers who are executed.
write, with studies finding that highly "The message of an execution may
publicized suicides appear to provoke be one of lethal vengeance: Death is
more suicides. what the despised person deserves."
"IT IS estimated for example, that
Helens erupts again
50 miles to the southwest in Portland, the initial May 18 blast, there were
Ore. - laid down a layer of ash around reports of slight amounts of ash falling
the volcano's base on its east and there.
westerly slopes. IT WAS THE fifth major volcanic ex-
There were no immediate reports of plosion inside the mile-wide crater sin-
injuries following the eruption. People ce the 9,677-foot high peak first blew up
in the restricted red zone around the four months ago.
volcano had been evacuated earlier in A Forest Service spokesman said ob-
the day following a burst of seismic ac- servers in the spotter plane reported
tivity. that the cloud, streaked with bolts of
Observers in aircraft and the lightning, rolled to 44,000 feet above sea
National Weather Service charted the level, but shortly before 9 p.m. had
course of the plume to the east- dropped to about 12,000 feet and was
northeast. And while it was first expec- decreasing in a sputtering eruption.
ted to miss Yakima, an area hard hit by Mount St. Helens -awoke from 127
years of dormancy on May 18, with a
mighty explosion that left 64 people
STA TE dead or missing. Major eruptions oc-
curred again on May 25, June 12, and
July 22.
Dot Elmire, owner of the Cougar
231 S. State Store in the hamlet of Cougar located
eight miles on the southwest flank of the
S662-6264 mountain, said the latest eruption
looked like a light-colored thunderhead.
"It came up over the ridge and just
hung there," Elmire said. "There
wasn't that much wind to move it. First
it leaned like it was going to go south.
(upper level) Then it just kind of dissolved and
moved the other way."
7:25 L
A n Schnitzer's skillfuly
SAT, cstr"cted circle of ten n
teroking love affairs. Each
SUN, ene is made for two
characters, one of whom will
WED encounter a new partner in
the following scene. A fas-
1:25 cinaling peek into the par-
losad bedrooms of 1890
4:25. venh.
7:25 AUGUST8
Power Center
PTP Ticket Office-MI League, Noon-
Spm, M-F. Master Charge & VISA by
phone: 764-0450. Power Center box
off ice opens at 6pm (763-3333)
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