Death Penalty Losing Support?

October 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Criminal Law

Death Penalty Losing Support?

A new Gallup Poll shows that support for using the death penalty in cases of murder is down to 61%.  That is a 3% drop in support from last year.  The poll shows this is the lowest level of support since 1972, the year the Supreme Court voided all existing state death penalty laws in Furman v. Georgia.

Support rose to its highest levels from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s,  including the all-time high of 80% who favored the death penalty in 1994.  But since that high there has been a marked decline of 19% over the past 17 years, and a 3-point drop from last year’s measure.

Gallup reports “The Oct. 6-9 poll was conducted shortly after the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, which generated widespread protests and extensive news coverage. This could help explain the slight drop in support for the death penalty this year. However, there have been high-profile executions in the news in previous years without concomitant drops in death penalty support, making it less clear that such events have a direct impact on attitudes.”

The poll also shows that people in the South and Mid-West support the death penalty more than in the rest of the country.

If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina I urge you to contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Eric Gurney at (919) 930-4027.