Death penalty questionable as a deterrent to mass killing

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is calling for new death penalty legislation as an answer to hate crimes and mass killings. But whether that would deter shooters is questionable – especially since most don’t live to face trial.

More than half the perpetrators of mass shootings since 2006 have ended up dead at the scene of their crimes – either killed by others or dying by suicide, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.

Death penalty scholars and psychologists say killers motivated by ideology are unlikely to be deterred by punishment. Most of them are willing to die or understand the risk and prepare for it. Some want the fame that an execution could potentially bring to their cause.

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