Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gallup: Death Penalty Support Lowest In Over 40 Years

Support for the death penalty, at 60 percent, is lower than it has been in over four decades, according to a recent Gallup poll. The increasing number of states abolishing the practice and holding moratoriums may be linked to the decline in support for state-sanctioned killing:

Sixty percent of Americans say they favor the death penalty for convicted murderers, the lowest level of support Gallup has measured since November 1972, when 57% were in favor. Death penalty support peaked at 80% in 1994, but it has gradually declined since then.

...The current era of lower support may be tied to death penalty moratoriums in several states beginning around 2000 after several death-row inmates were later proven innocent of the crimes of which they were convicted. More recently, since 2006, six states have repealed death penalty laws outright, including Maryland this year.

Politics is a major dividing line in Americans' death penalty views -- 81% of Republicans currently favor it, compared with 47% of Democrats. Independents' 60% support matches the national average.

...Currently, 18 states do not allow the death penalty, and six of those bans have occurred since 2006. Six others instituted bans during the mid-1950s through the early 1970s, when U.S. support for the death penalty was lowest historically.


Michael J. Mand said...

It is still disturbing that more than half of those surveyed still support such a barbaric, immoral and ultimately ineffective form of punishment for which there are alternatives. (And I'm not just speaking of "life without parole" which I also oppose.)

I wonder how the results would change if the questions were either qualified or qunatified...or just reworded.

Here's a link to a list of countries and where they stand with respect to capital punishment:


Jeff Tone said...

That list of countries is quite telling. How many democracies still have the death penalty?