67% Support Death Penalty, but 50% Don’t Trust Government to Make the Decision

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.

Every day, ScottRasmussen.com presents new public opinion data relating to topics in the news and other items of interest. We also provide daily updates on the president’s job approval and the generic congressional ballot. It’s all part of our mission to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).

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).

Posted in Poll Results

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