U.S. support for death penalty dips to 39-year low

by Melanie Wilmoth

A Gallup poll conducted last week reveals that support for the death penalty in the U.S. has dropped to a 39-year low. According to the poll:

“Sixty-one percent of Americans approve of using the death penalty for persons convicted of murder, down from 64% last year. 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.”

The poll, conducted October 6-9, 2011, came in the wake of Troy Davis’ execution, which could explain some of the decrease in support for the death penalty. However, Gallup points out that “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.”

See the results of the poll below:



2 thoughts on “U.S. support for death penalty dips to 39-year low

  1. very interesting statistic; don’t know how meaningful in terms of any long range attitude change. Interesting that the two coasts are least supportive of dp, and midwest more supportive than south.

  2. I would expect that urban areas would be less supportive of the death penalty, but I did not know that the percentage of people supporting it was so high. I think lots of people in countries overseas might be shocked.
    Sandra Streifel

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