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Pop Quiz on Astronomy and the Death Penalty

One of the things we hear all the time from death penalty abolitionists is that support for capital punishment is declining (which is true, slightly, over the last decade). Heard a good deal less often is how much the support actually is.  Hint:  It's been at or above 60% for forty years.  (It was below that level for about the twenty years before that, or from roughly 1954 to 1974).

To illustrate how misleadingly support for the death penalty gets portrayed in the media, here's a little quiz:

Do more people think (1) the death penalty is imposed too often, or (2) the sun revolves around the earth?

Congratulations!  Right again!  More people think the sun goes around the earth than that the death penalty is imposed too often (scroll down two-thirds of the page to find the graph).

P.S.  I suspect these two groups largely overlap.


As much as I hate to say this, the death penalty is hanging on by a thread.

When you are dead (fortunately pretty soon it appears), you will be remembered (by very few, also fortunately) as a relic of an era when barbarism was accepted practice in the US.

You are a revolting, disgusting, ideologue of a man. Exposing my children to you is, in my mind, equal to exposing them to pedophiles.


With opposition as nuanced, professional and level-headed as sheetspreader's, we'll do just fine.

I am always skeptical about these surveys attempting to demonstrate how stupid Americans are e.g. sun revolving around earth, evolution is just a theory, and yes, death penalty is imposed too little.

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