Poll: Majority of Oklahomans support a moratorium on the death penalty


A poll commissioned by Oklahoma Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, released last week, shows that 78% of Oklahoma voters support a moratorium on the death penalty.

The poll, conducted last month, also found that replacing capital punishment with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole is supported by 51% of those surveyed, “strong enough to be the starting point for a campaign,” according to Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates, the firm that conducted the poll.

“The survey identified overwhelming support for pausing executions to ensure the process is fair and just and does not result in the execution of innocent people across all demographics with 78% in favor and only 18% opposed,” CHS & Associates said. That support includes 75% of Republicans, 80% of Independents, 76% of rural residents, and “large majorities in every region of the state.” Twelve percent were strongly opposed in contrast to 45% strongly in favor.

The poll was all Republican State Rep Kevin McDugle, a self-declared death penalty supporter, needed to again call for a moratorium on the death penalty. McDugle has been at the forefront of a bipartisan effort by the state assembly to investigate the case of Richard Glossip further. Glossip is scheduled to be executed on May 18, despite an independent investigation into his conviction by a law firm that found his “2004 trial cannot be relied on to support a murder-for-hire-conviction. Nor can it provide a basis for the government to take the life of Richard E. Glossip.”

Opposition to capital punishment has also been fueled by the killing spree Oklahoma launched last July, announcing it planned to kill 25 men on death row, one a month from August through December 2024. Four of the 25 were executed after the announcement, the most recent in January when Scott Eizember was killed. Ten more had been scheduled, but in January, newly-elected state Attorney General Gentner Drummond asked the Court of Criminal Appeals to slow that pace, telling Oklahoma Watch it was too much for prison staff. “I thought, man, that’s unhealthy. . . . It’s just too onerous.” The new schedule calls for seven more executions this year, approximately one every 60 days.

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