Tags: Polls | death penalty | corporal punishment | support | poll

Poll: Support for Death Penalty at Lowest Point Since 1972

Poll: Support for Death Penalty at Lowest Point Since 1972
In this November 2005 file photo, Larry Greene, public information director of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, demonstrates how a curtain is pulled between the death chamber and witness room at the prison in Lucasville, Ohio. (Kiichiro Sato/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 26 October 2017 12:10 PM

Fifty-five percent of Americans favor the death penalty for convicted murderers — the lowest level of support in 45 years, according to a new Gallup poll.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed oppose it.

Here's how the poll breaks down:

  • 72 percent of Republicans favor capital punishment.
  • 39 percent of Democrats support it.
  • 58 percent of independents favor it
  • 39 percent say the death penalty is not imposed often enough; 26 percent say it is used too much and 26 percent believe it is used about right.

"Americans' support for the death penalty is lower than it has been in over four decades," Gallup noted. "Fewer states now allow the death penalty than did so in the past, and the number of executions has declined in recent years.

"Most of the decline in death penalty support in recent years is attributable to a drop in support among Democrats. In the early 2000s, consistent majorities of Democrats favored capital punishment — but their support has been below 50 percent in each of the past five years."

Gallup noted it first started polling on the issue since 1936.

"Support has generally been 60 percent or higher throughout most of the past 80 years, but has been as low as 42 percent and as high as 80 percent," the polling organization said.

"The low point came in 1966 during a period spanning the late 1950s through early 1970s when a series of court cases challenged the legality of capital punishment. This culminated with the Supreme Court's 1972 decision in Furman v. Georgia that halted all U.S. executions.

"Three months before that ruling, 50 percent of Americans said they favored the death penalty. Four months after it, 57 percent were in favor, the last time support was below 60 percent."

The poll, conducted Oct. 5-11, surveyed 1,028 people. It has a margin of error of plus or minus percentage points.

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Fifty-five percent of Americans favor the death penalty for convicted murderers - the lowest level of support in 45 years, according to a new Gallup poll.
death penalty, corporal punishment, support, poll
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2017-10-26
Thursday, 26 October 2017 12:10 PM
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