Sunday, October 2, 2016

Support for the death penalty at lowest point in four decades

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear the first of two death penalty cases in this year’s term, the share of Americans who support the death penalty for people convicted of murder is now at its lowest point in more than four decades, reported Pew Research Center .
Only about half of Americans (49%) now favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder, while 42% oppose it. Support has dropped 7 percentage points since March 2015, from 56%. Public support for capital punishment peaked in the mid-1990s, when eight-in-ten Americans (80% in 1994) favored the death penalty and fewer than two-in-ten were opposed (16%). Opposition to the death penalty is now the highest it has been since 1972.
In my book, The Executioner's Toll, 2010 I examined the resurrection of the death penalty after the 1972 Supreme Court decision of Furman v. Georgia.  The book also examine the slow decline in executions through 2010, which have further slid through today.  
There have been only 15 executions in 2016, the last on July 15, 2016.
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