Friday, March 29, 2019

Two out of three Californians support LWOP over death penalty

A new poll found that Californians, by a 2-to-1 margin, support sentencing first-degree murderers to life in prison rather than the death penalty, an indication that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent decision to impose a moratorium on executions may align with public sentiment against capital punishment, reported the Los Angeles Times.
The poll results could potentially revive efforts to abolish the death penalty in California, including a proposed constitutional amendment being considered in the state Legislature that could land on the 2020 ballot, and embolden Newsom to take additional action against capital punishment. The Democratic governor already is considering prohibiting any new death sentences in local criminal cases.
The Public Policy Institute of California poll found that 62% of Californians, in cases of first-degree murder, favored a penalty of life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole, compared with 31% who favored death sentences. Support for the death penalty in the state has steadily declined since 2000, when Californians were evenly divided on the issue, according to the institute’s polling over that time period.
“This is a case where public opinion continues to shift, and shift support away from the death penalty,” said Mark Baldassare, the institute’s president and chief executive.
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