< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Public Perception of the Death Penalty

Friday, December 02, 2005

Public Perception of the Death Penalty

A recent Washington Post article finds that public support for the death penalty has dropped in the United States and that it is being chosen less than before. As the article reports:

Death sentences have declined to their lowest level in three decades, with juries sentencing 125 people to death last year, compared with an average of 290 per year in the 1990s. The number of inmates executed last year was the lowest since 1996, and the Supreme Court has twice in the past three years limited who can be punished with death...Public opinion polls show that nearly two-thirds of Americans support the death penalty, but that is a significant drop from the peak, in 1994, when 80 percent of respondents told Gallup pollsters they were in favor of capital punishment. When asked if they would endorse executions if the alternative sentence of life without parole were available, support fell to 50 percent.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes


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