The God of the Old or New Testament? Gallup Examines Americans Reasons For or Against Death Penalty

Forth the fourth time Gallups pollsters probed Americans on why they support or oppose the death penalty.  Below is a summary.  Click here for the full Gallup article.

Americans’ top reasons for supporting the death penalty, including most prominently that it is necessary to take “an eye for an eye” when a murder is committed, demonstrate that Americans are less concerned with using the tool as a deterrent for future crimes and more so with using it as a means of punishment.

For those who oppose the death penalty, moral and religious reasons such as it is “wrong to take a life” are most popular. Considering the numerous accounts of death-row inmates being found innocent through the use of DNA evidence, it may be surprising that wrongful conviction is only tied for second as a reason cited by death penalty opponents. Practical reasons like the cost of keeping a prisoner on death row — for decades, potentially — does not factor as much into why Americans oppose the death penalty. Additionally, few opponents cite cruelty as a reason for their beliefs, despite recent news stories of botched executions in which lethal injections did not work as planned.

Author: COFPD

Federal Public Defender's Office for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming