CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Americans Growing More Skeptical of the Death Penalty

"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. Amid the refinement of DNA techniques and the sporadic release of inmates from death row because of uncertain guilt, a growing number of people tell pollsters they believe that innocent prisoners have been executed. Although the majority of cases over the past three decades have been upheld, legal errors and sometimes poor defense work revealed during layers of appeals have convinced many Americans that the system is imperfect." Full story from . . [Mark Godsey]

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