Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters nationwide are in favor of allowing the death penalty as punishment for very severe crimes. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 24% are opposed. Those figures include 36% who Strongly Favor it and 12% who are Strongly Opposed.
However, the survey also found support for the concept is tempered by the reality of implementation. Forty-seven percent (47%) believe that some people who receive the death penalty are innocent. Forty percent (40%) say it’s unlikely.
Additionally, 50% believe there are a number of violent criminals who deserve the death penalty, but don’t trust the government enough to determine whether a convicted criminal should be put to death. Thirty-nine percent (39%) disagree with that assessment while 11% are not sure.
In general, there is less support for the death penalty and more skepticism about its implementation among women, younger voters, and black voters (see crosstab results).
Eighty-two percent (82%) of Republicans think the death penalty should be allowed. So do 59% of Democrats and 63% of Independents.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Republicans agree that some deserve the death penalty but don’t trust the government to make the decision. That view is shared by 59% of Democrats and 50% of Independents.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Republicans also believe it’s likely that some innocent people receive the death penalty. On that point, 51% of Democrats and 48% of Independents agree.
Data released earlier showed by 58% favored the criminal justice reform passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last week.
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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted December 23-24, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the demographic profile of our sample). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).