A comfortable majority of those questioned -- 59% -- said they favor the death penalty as the ultimate punishment for murder, while 35% said they are opposed.
That split is in line with surveys done before Lockett's death in the last two years, and also reflects the erosion of support for capital punishment since the 1990s, when it was more than 70%."I don't think this fundamentally altered views about the death penalty," said Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.
Did the Failed Oklahoma Execution Reduce Support for the Death Penalty?
In a word, no.
According to an NBC News poll taken May 7 - May 10 (i.e., in the immediate aftermath of the failed execution and at the height of the press coverage about it):
Just so. The most recent Gallup poll had support at 60%, and a poll six weeks ago by Pew had it at 55%.
I'm a little surprised. Given the explosion of media outrage (articles collected by SL&P, here), I thought support would take a hit. Immediate facts usually tend to affect opinions about the DP, such as in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing. I'm glad to see that, according to this poll, at least, Americans continue to understand that there are some crimes for which a mere prison term, no matter how long, makes a joke of justice.