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death-penalty
(06/07/09) -

Americans Pick Death Penalty for Murder Cases

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States believe capital punishment is a better penalty for murder, according to a poll by Opinion Research Corporation released by CNN. 53 per cent of respondents choose the death penalty, while 46 per cent select life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in the United States believe capital punishment is a better penalty for murder, according to a poll by Opinion Research Corporation released by CNN. 53 per cent of respondents choose the death penalty, while 46 per cent select life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole.

In addition, only 26 per cent of respondents believe that the death penalty should be considered as "cruel and unusual" punishment.

Since 1976, 1,167 people have been put to death in the United States, including 31 this year. More than a third of all executions have taken place in the state of Texas. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia do not engage in capital punishment.

On Jun. 5, Connecticut governor Jodi Rell vetoed a proposed bill that sought to abolish the death penalty in the state, declaring, "We will not tolerate those who have murdered in the most vile, dehumanizing fashion. We should not, will not, abide those who have killed for the sake of killing (or) those who have taken a precious life and shattered the lives of many more."

Michael Ross—who admitted to killing eight women in Connecticut and New York in the early 1980s—is the only person to be executed in the Constitution State since 1976. Ten inmates are currently awaiting execution in the state.

Polling Data

If you could choose between the following two approaches, which do you think is the better penalty for murder?

The death penalty

53%

Life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole

46%

Not sure

2%

As you may know, according to the U.S. Constitution, any punishment that is considered "cruel and unusual" cannot be used on people convicted of any crime. Do you consider the death penalty to be a cruel and unusual punishment, or don’t you feel that way?"

Yes

26%

No

73%

Not sure

1%

Source: Opinion Research Corporation / CNN
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,010 American adults, conducted from May 14 to May 17, 2009. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.