Americans prefer execution over prison for murderers by greater margins than do people in eight other nations surveyed, says an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Of the nine countries polled, only the U.S. and South Korea have the death penalty. AP says the poll “underscores stark differences between the U.S. and many of its allies over the death penalty at a time when U.S. treatment of terror-war detainees — some of whom may face execution — has been a major irritant in their relations.”
Women were likelier than men to favor life imprisonment over the death penalty for murderers except in Canada, Mexico, and Germany, where the genders were about even. Support for capital punishment ran lower for people who are better educated, have higher incomes, are young or — in the U.S. — are Democrats. In the U.S., the preference for execution over prison for murderers in general was 52 percent to 46 percent. Nearly six in 10 in the U.S. said abolishing the death penalty probably would not change the number of murders.