A September 2000 New York Times survey found that during the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states with the death penalty has been 48 to 101 percent higher than in states without the death penalty.
FBI data shows that all 14 states without capital punishment in 2008 had homicide rates at or below the national rate.
The murder rate in non-Death Penalty states has remained consistently lower than the rate in States with the Death Penalty.
The threat of execution at some future date is unlikely to enter the minds of those acting under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, those who are in the grip of fear or rage, those who are panicking while committing another crime (such as a robbery), or those who suffer from mental illness or mental retardation and do not fully understand the gravity of their crime.
Washington (CNN) — Top U.S. officials say they are not ready to put aside threat information received last week that al Qaeda terrorists wanted to attack New York or Washington around the time of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
“We consider it an ongoing threat,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate committee Tuesday. “And we continue to lean forward into confirming that threat.”
“The threat has not been resolved, and until it is resolved it is an outstanding threat that we are following up on,” said FBI Director Robert Mueller. “Even though September 11th has now passed we do not believe that necessarily means that we should back down.”
Last Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed the U.S. had specific and credible intelligence a plot could be in motion, but officials stressed the information was uncorroborated. That information led New York, Washington and other cities around the country to ramp up already-tight security for the anniversary of the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
The FBI has conducted more than 300 interviews, and cleared all of those people of being involved in or knowing about a possible plot to attack the cities with vehicle-borne explosives or some other form of violence, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.
Mueller told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee numerous interviews helped agents eliminate some avenues in the investigation but “there is still work to be done.”
U.S. officials say they have no proof al Qaeda operatives entered the United States but are continuing to follow leads.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman asked on Tuesday who was in charge of coordinating the response to the threat information and officials pointed to John Brennan, the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.
Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said his organization brought together all the information coming from the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security and other agencies.
“We play a central clearinghouse role where we take all of the information, analyze it and share back out what we are seeing from an analytical standpoint,” said Olsen.
It may not be possible to determine whether tough law enforcement measures prevented a plot from being carried out — or if one had never been in the works, two U.S. officials, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said Tuesday.
[Update 9:04 a.m. ET] The Afghan Interior Ministry said four suicide attackers entered the building site from which the attack on the U.S. Embassy and ISAF headquarters is being carried out. Two of them were killed and two were “resisting.”
[Update 8:56 a.m. ET] What does today’s Kabul violence say about U.S. chances for success in Afghanistan? TIME reports.
[Update 8:48 a.m. ET] An ISAF official said there are initial reports that some insurgent rounds hit the NATO base and caused minor damage.
[Update 8:29 a.m. ET] The U.S. Embassy issued an emergency message about the series of attacks across Kabul on Tuesday, saying “the situation is uncertain and ongoing. There are media reports that many roads are closed in Kabul.” It said appointments for visas or U.S. citizen services have been canceled for now and it said Americans in Afghanistan should monitor the websites of the embassy and the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs for the latest information.
“We urge U.S. citizens to shelter in place, avoid unnecessary movement, and to avoid the neighborhood around the U.S. Embassy: Wazir Akbar Khan, Microrayon, and Massoud Circle,” it said.
“The Embassy also urges U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and avoid areas where Westerners congregate. Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers, or in public. Be alert and aware of your surroundings, and always travel with mobile phones or appropriate communication equipment.”
[Update 8:27 a.m. ET] A coalition officer and a senior ISAF official both confirmed to CNN that there had been intelligence that insurgents might launch a high-profile attack in the capital around the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
[Update 8:23 a.m. ET] An Afghan MI-35 helicopter gunship is attacking a building from which insurgents are firing, The Telegraph reports in a blog post.
[Update 7:59 a.m. ET] A senior ISAF official says less than 10 insurgents are involved in attack on the U.S. Embassy and nearby ISAF headquarters. There are no casualties among ISAF personnel, the official says.
[Update 7:51 a.m. ET] Iran’s English-language Press TV says its offices in Kabul have come under attack. Several people are injured, it says.
By Lally Weymouth, Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 7:53 AM
TEHRAN — Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he intends to release two Americans who have been jailed on charges of espionage for two years and grant them a “unilateral pardon.”
“I am helping to arrange for their release in a couple of days so they will be able to return home,” Ahmadinejad told The Washington Post in an hour-long interview at his office here. “This is of course going to be a unilateral humanitarian gesture.”