5 include some exposition and analyses that are aimed for the researchers in the field.

Chapter 2 summarizes homicide rates and the legal status and practice of execution in the United States from 1950 to the present. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the possible mechanisms by which the legal status and practice of execution might affect homicide rates and also provides a nontechnical primer on some of the key challenges to making valid inferences about the deterrent effect of the death penalty. Chapters 4 and 5 review and assess the panel and time-series studies, respectively. Chapter 6 elaborates on the theoretical and statistical challenges to drawing valid conclusions about the deterrent effect of the death penalty, and presents our conclusions and recommendations for future research.

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