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Poll on DP for the Marathon Bomber

A poll has once again confirmed that the generic poll questions understate support for the death penalty and overstate opposition.  When asked about a specific, especially heinous crime, more people support the death penalty than answer yes to an abstract question.  Jon Cohen reports on a WaPo/ABC poll.

Overall, 70 percent of those surveyed say they support the death penalty for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. While most Democrats and Republicans alike say they would support the death penalty for Tsarnaev, there are deep racial divisions on the matter, reflecting a common gap in public views of the death penalty itself.
The overall result is 70-27.
While 75 percent of whites say they would back the use of the death penalty were Tsarnaev convicted, the support among African Americans barely goes past the midpoint: 52 percent of African Americans would support the death penalty, and 43 percent would oppose it.

Hispanics also are less likely than whites to support the death penalty in this instance: 62 percent would support it; 35 percent would oppose it.

Regrettably, the grievance mongers have managed to convince almost half the black people in America that the death penalty is deeply racist, and they should oppose it even for the very worst murderers.  The truth is quite different, as explained in my recent article, but truth does not matter to crusaders.  The good news is that a majority of black people, albeit a thin one, haven't bought it.

The 2-1 margin among Hispanics is also encouraging, even if a bit less than the general population.

I really dislike the use of the term "whites" in this context, BTW.  Hispanic people of European descent as just as "white" as other Euro-Americans.


I might add that we see in this poll, once more, a phenomenon we have seen again and again in public measurements of support for capital punishment: When asked in general terms, support tends to be in the low 60's, but when respondents are asked to focus on a specific case, support increases, almost always by a significant amount.

W. Otis, 4/30/13, forbes.com:
"The central reason to keep the death penalty available is graphically illustrated here [Dzhokhar Tsarnaev]."

Posted by: Liz McD, 4/29-5/1/13, sentencing law & policy.com:
[Addressed by: Prov 17:15]
_______________ _______________
I. Moral Relativism of the Highest Order
“I don't see Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as evil. But, I don't see the older brother as evil either.”
*“I think the death penalty is barbaric in a civilized society.”

“I see the younger Tsarnaev as completely misguided, lost, making choices that he has not really thought through...the younger brother was planning to dedicate his college career to smoking pot, getting laid and going to parties.”
_______________ _______________
II. Defence Mechanisms known as Minimalisation & Equivocation/ Rationalisation
“There is a lot of horrific stuff going on in the world, including actions by our own government in executing the war on terror.
Drones don't just kill the bad guys.”
_______________ _______________
III. “End Justifies the Means” Immorality
“I would definitely use his age as part of his defense...Then, I would use the testimonials of his friends and former teachers and coaches, who all have said that he was the greatest guy and wouldn't hurt a fly.”

“It only takes one member of a sentencing jury to vote down the death penalty, right?”
_______________ _______________
IV. Defence Mechanisms known as Displacement / Deflection & Minimalisation
“He was highly susceptible to influence and kind of passive...he was persuaded to join this plot... his brother...I assume he [the brother] was domineering and dominant.”
“The younger Tsarnaev got involved only recently...So, I don't see him as a full partner in the planning. He wasn't a full partner in the execution either - at least the getaway part of it.”

"His thinking may have been cloudy based on his heavy marijuana use. This guy was not a casual pot smoker. He likely was an addict, or in danger of becoming one."
_______________ _______________
V. Appeal to Europe &c.
“I think my rehabilitation idea makes sense. I think the countries that have maximum sentences for young offenders are on the right track too. With some countries, 21 is another cutoff age for reductions in sentences...why wouldn't they be permitted to re-enter society? other countries are willing to take this chance...Many European countries have maximum sentences for people Tsarnaev's age...”
_______________ _______________
VI. Disturbingly Displaced Affection & Gender Bias
“As for him going back to his dorm and trying to act like nothing happened, I seriously think he was trying to pretend it never happened...People who knew him who saw him at the gym said he looked "down" or "tired." So, he may have been feeling bad about what he did already.”

“Life without parole may be a terrible punishment for him...what kind of life will it be? Death penalty opponents, and I consider myself in that category, may breathe a sigh of relief...for this young man.”
*“I think the death penalty is barbaric in a civilized society. And life without parole offers nothing but hopelessness.”

“What happened to the goal of rehabilitating prisoners? That seems to have been thrown out the window, especially in this age of terrorism, where everyone and their brother will now be on the terrorist watch list.”

“Dzhokhar has a lot of sympathy among women, and might with other people as well... I can't see into Dzhokhar's heart, but the wrestling coach's statements were meaningful to me...Check out this article about maternal sympathy for Dzhokhar:..”
_______________ _______________
VII. Defence Mechanism known as Denial with Extreme Presumption
“Dzhokhar was not really a practicing Muslim. I'm not sure how much he was involved in the planning of this attack.”

“The wrestling coach's statements were very strong and very persuasive - at least to me...you have a case of a guy who was good and then went bad very suddenly. I think he could become good again. I believe in redemption...I think his victims would be okay with him being released and monitored.”
_______________ _______________

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