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Death Penalty Support Down a Tad, or Maybe Up a Tad

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Gallup has released its annual poll on support for the death penalty. On the question that Gallup has asked since the 30s, "Are you in favor of the death penalty for murder?", there is a bit of further erosion, although support is still overwhelmingly "yes" to that question.

As I have noted before here, though, the traditional question is deficient in that it could be understood to be asking about the death penalty for all murders or the typical murder.  I would answer "no" to the question, so understood, myself.

Another question Gallup asks better reflects the actual policy question of whether we should impose the death penalty on the worst murderers:  "In your opinion, is the death penalty imposed -- [ROTATED: too often, about the right amount, or not often enough]?"  The sum of right+not enough constitutes support for the death penalty as it presently is or tougher.

By this measure, support is up a tad since 2011, the last time Gallup asked the question, and opposition is down a tad.  "Right" + "not enough" totals 70%, up from 67%, while "too often" slips from 25% to 22%.

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