U.S. Backing for Death Penalty Stable at 63%, Says Gallup; Down Since 1994


Americans’ support for the death penalty as punishment for murder has plateaued in the low 60s in recent years, after several years in which support was diminishing, reports the Gallup Organization. Sixty-three percent now favor the death penalty as the punishment for murder, similar to 61 percent in 2011 and 64 percent in 2010.

Gallup first asked Americans for their views on the death penalty in 1936, and has asked it at least annually since 1999. The latest results come from a Dec. 19-22, 2012, USA Today/Gallup survey, conducted in the first few days after the Newtown, Ct., school shooting massacre. Although views on the death penalty have been fairly static since 2010, support has been gradually diminishing since the high point in 1994, when 80 percent were in favor. By 2001, roughly two-thirds were in favor, and since then it has edged closer to 60%.

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