Do potential murderers prefer life over death and fear death more than life?
Of course, just as we all do.
Since 1973, there have been about 50,000 murderers (1) who may have qualified for the death penalty, based upon post Furman laws.
No surprise. Death is feared more than life. Life is preferred over death, not just with murderers, but with all of us, save for the determined suicidal.
That's a fact based review of which sanction murderers find to be more severe and is just one example of why executions are found to deter more than life (2).
Would a more reasoned group, potential murderers who chose not to murder, also, overwhelmingly fear death more than life? Of course, just as we all do.
I don't think it even arguable, that had those 0.3% "volunteers" been given the option of life over death, that they would have chosen life.
I am aware of only 1 murderer, in the modern death penalty era, who pled guilty, sought the death penalty and then, after receiving it, waived appeals.
Arguably, then, 99.99% prefer life over death and fear death more than life.
That which we fear the most, deters the most.
b) Only about 1/3 of all death penalty cases that go to trial end with a death sentence; 2/3 of the defendants received sentences less than death, as they wanted. (Source: Just Revenge: Costs and Consequences of the Death Penalty, by Mark Costanzo) Total, that is about 25, 200 cases.
c) Even more death penalty eligible cases, an additional 24,800 or so, are otherwise, given sentences less than death, as they wished.
(2) See sections C and D within
The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives
"DEATH PENALTY DETERRENCE CLARIFIED"
DETERRENCE, THE DEATH PENALTY & MURDER RATES
Innocents More At Risk Without Death Penalty
"Death Penalty, Deterrence & Murder Rates: Let's be clear"