Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Death Penalty Support Declining - But Still Supported By 60%

There's good and bad news about the death penalty in the United States. The good news is that support for using the death penalty has been declining since the mid-nineties. The bad news is that about 60% (or six out of ten Americans) still support use of the death penalty.

The charts above are from a recent Gallup Poll -- done between October 5th and 9th of a random national sample of 1,017 adults, with a 4 point margin of error. It contains a statistic I just don't understand. While 60% of the public supports the death penalty, only 50% believe it is applied fairly to all defendants. How can that 10% be in favor of it, when they don't think it's applied fairly? Does fairness and justice mean nothing to these people? Do they even care that innocent people might be unfairly executed?

Frankly, I don't understand how even 50% of the public thinks our justice system is applied fairly. It seems obvious to me that minorities and the poor are not treated equally to wealthy whites. Is this 50% just ignoring reality? Do they prefer to live in their own faulty reality?

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