Re: META: would prefer much less political debating

Han Huang (
Sat, 12 Dec 1998 02:06:15 -0500

Damien writes,

>>1 in 160 --
>>the average US risk of being a victim of violent crime in 1997. Using
>>the 1 in 160 figure, over the next 50 years, one has a 27% chance of
>>being a victim of a violent crime.
>Hardly (as Mike would say). Unless there's a rule in the USA that people
>who've been assaulted once are left alone thereafter, your chances remain
>1/160 to the end of time (all demographics being equal).

Suppose your risk was average -- 1 in 160 per year-- and this risk remains constant over the next 50 years (a ridiculous assumption, of course, but let's run with it). The chance you escape violent crime this year is 159/160. The chance you escape it for 2 year straight is 159/160 * 159/160, because we're assuming every year's risk is independent of the past. The chance you escape for 50 years is:

	--- to the 50th power = 0.7309  or 73%

	100% - 73% = 27%.

	(Note, you are more likely to get in a serious car accident.)

	Given the 240-to-1 murders-to-executions ratio in 1997, you
and I were more likely to be a victims of a violent crime, than a murderer is of being executed.

That's how frivolous I think most arguments over the death penalty are, pro- or con- or whatever.

-Han Huang