Deterring Killers?

June 30, 2005

Dennis Rader, the sociopathic psycho-killer known as BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill), has plead guilty and confessed in a matter of fact manner to the brutal murders of 10 victims, explaining in open court how he stalked, constrained, and murdered them. Carrying his “hit kit” he entertained sexual fantasies while “putting them down” like animals.

BTK would make a fine poster child for anti-death-penalty activists who would want everything possible to be done to save this fine specimen of human life from the punishment that justice demands for his heinous crimes against society and humanity.

However, they do not have to fight that fight because BTK performed all of his murders (which are known) before 1994, when Kansas reinstated the death penalty. His last murder was in 1991. This raises the question of whether the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1994 deterred Rader from killing again. There had been other gaps of time in BTK’s killing spree as long the span between 1991 and 1994. Isn’t it likely that BTK would have killed again but for the reinstatement of the death penalty?