Europe, the USA, and the Death Penalty: 13 Slides to Collect and Trade with your Friends

I’m off to Vienna in a few days to talk about the death penalty. Specifically, why Europe got rid of it and why the USA still (just barely) has it. Here are the slides I’m working on right now, in case anyone’s interested. If the hive mind spots any errors or has any suggestions, comments are eagerly welcome!

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9 thoughts on “Europe, the USA, and the Death Penalty: 13 Slides to Collect and Trade with your Friends

  1. Should make for an interesting talk…

    Some formal nit-picking:
    – “DP” as an abbreviation is introduced on slide 9 but used earlier (e.g. slide 3)
    – There is no “Structural Conditions for Abolition II”
    – Slide 11 has a different font size for bullets under “Elites”
    – “Concluding observations” suddenly uses different bullet types (which I actually prefer to the checkboxy-looking ones)

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  2. You should totally have made an app GoDP where the cards are scattered about so that we would have to go walk around to find them (in order, if you pick up a card out of order you’d have to start over).

    Where’s your sense of fun?

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  3. Very interesting indeed! If I may add to the useless nitpicking: How can you be both an “absolute principled opponent of DP” and a “conditional pragmatic opponent of DP” at the same time, as slide no. 9 would seem to suggest? Aren’t they mutually exclusive?

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  4. I think it does make sense if you look at it the other way around: If you’re an “absolute principled opponent of DP”, but otherwise think that it’s a decision that should be left to the people, you become a “conditional pragmatic supporter” if a majority says yes to DP. If the people decide to vote against it, then you’re both “absolute principled opponent” (your own stance) and “conditional pragmatic opponent” (because the people said so).

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  5. Bullet points against capital punishment seem a bit ironic here, also:

    When Mr Cialdini was asked to give a talk to employees at SSM Health, he was told that the non-profit medical group had banned bullet points — not the blobs themselves but the word bullet, which was deemed out of line with their caring values

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  6. I see your point. The problem is compressing the argument for a PP slide. The idea is absolutists say I will never support the DP even if you can make it 100% accurate in targeting the guilty and free, because fundamental human-rights violation. Conditionals say I oppose the DP now because it sometimes hits the innocent and is too expensive.

    The central overlap are people who are absolutely opposed no matter what, but who *also* care about whether it’s accurate and efficient, or who *also* use these arguments to try to convince others.

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  7. What about the role of the U.S. supreme court? It is some kind of “elite” and it suspended death penalty at east for a little while, in the past.

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