New Survey on Attitudes toward the Death Penalty

November 16, 2010
The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) has just released the results of its comprehensive study on Americans' opinions about the death penalty. Lake Research Partners of Washington, D.C. conducted the study. A few of the highlights of this study are:

*  In death penalty states, most voters said it would make no difference in their vote if a representative supported death penalty repeal. Thirty-eight percent said that it would make no difference; 24% said they would be more likely to vote for such a representative. This 62% combined total suggests that politicians who look critically at the death penalty and support repeal might even have a slight advantage.

^  The poll confirms that the public wants straight-talk, not "tough talk" about how lawmakers propose to keep families and communities safe from crime. It suggests that the public wants legislators who will devise policies that not only hold offenders accountable for the harm that they do, but will also provide more services and support for families of murder victims.

Among the other top concerns expressed by poll respondents about the death penalty are:

 *   The risk of wrongful convictions and executions of innocent people.

 *   The death penalty is applied unevenly and unfairly.

 *   The collateral damage the death penalty causes to families of murder victims, law enforcement professionals, and others.

 *   A majority of respondents said the costs of capital punishment are an important concern, given the state of the nation's economy. They ranked job creation, emergency services, schools and libraries, public health care services, police and crime prevention, roads and transportation as higher budget priorities.

For a detailed breakdown of the study, go to http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/pollresults

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) is building a very large coalition of individuals and organizations that feel that there are better ways to deter violent crime and keep the public safe, rather than spending millions of dollars each you to maintain a flawed death penalty system. For more information on OADP and ways that you can become involved, call (503) 990-7060 or write info@oadp.org.