Sixty percent of Americans favor capital punishment for convicted murderers, the lowest percentage since 1972, according to a Gallup poll released this week reported Reuters.
Gallop randomly sampled 1,028 people by telephone in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia from October 3 to 6. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points, Gallup said.
At its peak in the mid-1990s, capital punishment support was at 80 percent, the polling group said. However, even with declining support nearly two out of three people support the execution of some convicted killers.
Since 2006, six states have repealed death penalty laws outright, including Maryland this year, Gallup said.
Eighty-one percent of Republicans, 47 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents support the death penalty, according to the poll.
The largest decrease was found among Democrats, 75 percent of whom supported the death penalty in 1994.
Gallup has been measuring Americans' attitudes about capital punishment since 1936. Fifty-seven percent were in favor of the death penalty in November 1972.
Support for the death penalty increased from 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment, and reached a peak in 1994, when Americans named crime as the biggest problem plaguing the nation, the report said.
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Sherri Rae Rasmussen 2/7/1957 - 2/24/1986
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