41 Canadian J. Criminology 535 (1999)
The Pitfalls of Determining Validity by Consensus

handle is hein.journals/cjccj41 and id is 539 raw text is: COMMENTARY                           COMMENTAIRE
The pitfalls of determining validity
by consensus
Anthony N. Doob
Centre of Criminology
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
Jane B. Sprott
The National Center on Addiction and
Substance Abuse at Columbia University
New York, N.Y.
If 50 to 60 percent of the population of a country ... were to
declare their conviction that the death penalty is or could be
made such a deterrent, presumably this penalty has some
deterrent effect, at least among those who so believe.
Leader of the Reform Party, Preston Manning, 1995.
In general, the methodological approach taken [in the vari-
ous studies just reviewed] had not affected findings regard-
ing the deterrent effect of capital punishment: Results have
been generally negative whatever the approach taken.
Sociologists William C. Bailey and Ruth D. Peterson, 1999.
Tom Gabor, in a recent article (Gabor 1999: 388) suggested
that in order to determine whether youth crime rates are going
up, survey results and the impressions formed by those in close
contact with youths (educators, clinicians, school liaison offic-
ers) may be instructive. Before we explore our concern about
the evidence that he cites to suggest that youth crime is on the
increase, we should make it clear where we are in agreement.
First, we agree that there are very serious problems in infer-
ring anything about 'crime from UCR or youth court statistics.
Our argument for the use of these data in our recent paper (Doob
Canadian Journal of Criminology  535 to 543
Revue canadienne de criminologie  October/octobre 1999

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