Sixty percent of Americans favor capital punishment for convicted murderers, the lowest percentage since 1972, says a new Gallup poll reported by Reuters. At its peak in the mid-1990s, capital punishment support was at 80 percent, the polling group said.. “The current era of lower support may be tied to death penalty moratoriums in several states beginning around 2000 after several death-row inmates were later proven innocent of the crimes of which they were convicted,” Gallup said.
Since 2006, six states have repealed death penalty laws outright, including Maryland this year. Gallup has been measuring Americans’ attitudes about capital punishment since 1936. Fifty-seven percent were in favor of the death penalty in November 1972. The U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. Support for the death penalty increased from 1976 and reached a peak in 1994, when Americans named crime as the biggest problem plaguing the nation.