Support for death penalty lowest in decades

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The majority of Americans no longer believe the death penalty is applied fairly. For the first time since Gallup polled on this issue in 2000, 49 percent believe it is applied fairly. 45 percent say it’s applied unfairly.

Gallup says the new low “reflects a gradual decline” over the past ten years, while the number who believe it is applied unfairly has been edging higher, “with this year’s four-point gap marking the smallest difference between the two views” in its polling.

The poll indicates that the decline on the fairness question is largely attributable to Democrats. Thirty-one percent of Democrats say it’s applied fairly, which is a significant decrease from 2005 and 2006, when the majority thought it was fairly applied.

Republicans’ view hasn’t changed much with the poll finding that 73 percent believe it is applied fairly, which Gallup says is a view that “has been fairly stable over time.”

And, the belief that the death penalty isn’t imposed enough is held by 37 percent, the lowest reading since 2001, while those who believe it is imposed too often polled at 29 percent, “slightly higher than in previous years,” according to Gallup.

You can read more about the poll here

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