Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Death Penalty Support Takes a Dive

I've always found it interesting that the "Pro Life" party in the United States, the Republicans, overwhelmingly support the death penalty. A new Gallup Poll tells us that the GOP is going against the national mood in its most recent findings with 80 percent of party members surveyed favoring the death penalty for murder. Meanwhile, 47 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Independents favor death as a punishment.

The 60 percent overall support of the death penalty nationally is a drop from 80 percent in 1994. The penalty has been re-examined (and even eliminated in some states) in recent years as DNA testing, among other things, has given law enforcement a tool that can disprove murder convictions.

Since 1937, opposition to the death penalty has never reached 50 percent, nor has support for it been less than 45 percent. In 1967, opposition to the penalty outweighed support 47-42 percent. There are people, of course, who have no opinion, keeping totals from reaching 100 percent.

(Gallup chart)

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