Wednesday, May 21, 2003

REMEMBER THE HEADLINES SCREAMING OUT, that support for the death penalty was down. Uh, pass the white-out.

From the latest Gallup Poll, Support for the Death Penalty Remains High at 74%

The article is chock-ful-o-stats so check it out.


PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's latest update on the death penalty shows a continued high level of public support for the death penalty for those convicted of murder. When given a choice between the death penalty and life imprisonment as a punishment for murder, a slim majority also continues to favor the death penalty. Despite controversy over the death penalty that led to moratoriums in Illinois and Maryland, a growing percentage of the public believes the death penalty is applied fairly in the United States, and by a two-to-one margin, Americans say the death penalty is not imposed enough rather than imposed too often. Support for the death penalty is high despite the belief of most Americans that innocent people have been put to death in the past five years, although most consider this a rare occurrence.

The poll, conducted May 5-7, finds 74% of Americans in favor of and 24% opposed to the "death penalty for a person convicted of murder." Gallup has asked this basic death-penalty-support question since the 1930s. Support has been above 70% over the last two years, after having been in the mid-to-high 60% range in 2000-2001. The current number is the highest support level Gallup has obtained on this measure since May 1995, when 77% supported the death penalty. The highest support level was 80% in 1994, and the lowest was 42% in 1966.

Lots, lots more...