Pew Report: Support for Death Penalty Decreases to Lowest Level

A new Pew Report shows support for the death penalty for convicted murderers has dropped to 55%, the lowest level since the 1970's. Among the reasons:

...a steep drop in the incidence of violent crime, and greater attention to wrongful convictions, which has led to more than 1,300 convicts being exonerated through DNA evidence, revelations of faulty forensic work, or other means. (Recent reports of prolonged executions and the difficulties many states have had in procuring drugs for lethal injections also may be factors in shifting public opinion.)

Since 1973, the U.S. has executed 1,373 people. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 1,339 people have been exonerated since 1989, 106 of whom were sentenced to death. Only 1/3 of the exonerations involved DNA evidence.

All but two of the executions were at the state level. The highest number of executions: Texas, with 512. After that: Virginia and Oklahoma (110 each), and then Florida, Missouri and Alabama.

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    Good News (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:02:12 AM EST
    Hard to believe, but I will believe it. Hope it is a sign that we are also moving away from being the #1 prison nation.

    I've always (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:30:26 AM EST
    wonder is there ever any posthumous exoneration done? I'm assuming since people who are living have been exonerated there would also be people who have wrongly been put to death.

    A well-documented post-execution exoneration (none / 0) (#5)
    by Peter G on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:01:51 PM EST
    is considered the "holy grail" of the anti-death penalty movement.  That's why prosecutors fight so hard against true reinvestigation of those cases.  Some thought Roger Coleman would be that case.  Didn't pan out.  Today, most folks point to the Texas case of Todd Willingham.  And of course there are many historical cases that folks point to, but they tend to be beyond the reach of what might be considered as conclusive scientific reinvestigation.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:28:35 PM EST
    to look at the whole survey

    Its a long one mostly about end of life issues with death penalty the 4th to last question Its worth looking over the whole thing.

    Question has five options, strongly favor, favor, strongly oppose, oppose, and don't know.

    Favor and strongly oppose have little change. Strongly favor has a big drop from 43 to 18.
    Oppose a big increase from 11 to 26.
    Don't know went from 4 to 12 and currently 8.

    Strongly oppose of 10 vs 18 for strongly favor, doesn't suggest movement for change to me.

    Many I think are weary (none / 0) (#7)
    by Mikado Cat on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:35:15 PM EST
    of the issue, and are less pro or con, as they are just stop talking about it. I am more fix the process, or eliminate it.

    Moreover, when the poll is broken down (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:02:59 PM EST
     the support for the death penalty is skewed white, and I saw a map that I can't find right now that showed it skewed south. Hmmm, I wonder why.

    I was also wondering if we are approaching the day when lawsuits can be brought against it on equal protection grounds rather than cruelty grounds. Has that been tried?

    I don't think so (none / 0) (#9)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 02:52:45 PM EST
    Otherwise it would have happened the moment the first state removed the death penalty even from some category of crime, not completely.

    I think its a states rights issue, that states can differ on what should be punished and what the punishment should be within a very broad range.


    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#11)
    by lentinel on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:14:16 AM EST