Support for Death Penalty Reaches Record Low, New Poll Shows

Monica Sanchez | July 30, 2019


Support among Americans for the death penalty has reached a record low, according to new findings by Rasmussen.

In a new poll, 49 percent of Americans say they favor use of the death penalty, meanwhile 36 percent oppose capital punishment and 16 percent say they are undecided.

The level of support marks as a new low, as Rasmussen reports:

As recently as last October, however, support for the death penalty stood at 61%. The previous low was 54% two years ago. Prior to that in surveys back to 2009, support has ranged from 60% to 67%.

Among Americans who support the death penalty, 70% favor carrying out death sentences in a more timely fashion, unchanged from past surveying. Just 24% believe the sentence should be delayed as long as necessary to allow all legal appeals to be exhausted.

This news comes after the Justice Department announced last Thursday that it would be resuming the use of capital punishment after nearly two decades of no executions.

President Trump has voiced his support for the death penalty but the sentiment is not universal among Republicans or conservatives generally.

Many argue that the death penalty goes against conservative principles in favor of life. Others support the death penalty only in cases of horrific crimes.

The issue may arise as a hot topic in the 2020 presidential debates, as Democratic hopefuls such as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have already voiced intentions to stop executions at the federal level.

The Rasmussen poll of 1,000 American adults was conducted July 25 and 28 and has a margin sampling error of three percentage points.