This week, the results of the latest Gallup poll regarding capital punishment in the United States were released, and can be read in their entirety over at the Gallup site (which includes nice visuals). Here are some of their 2001 – 2010 findings, in summary:

Asked if they were in favor of the death penalty or opposed capital punishment:

  • 64% of Americans support death penalty for persons convicted of murder
  • 29% of Americans oppose the death penalty for those convicted of murder.

[Note: in 1936, Gallup results showed 59% of Americans supported the death penalty here, and 38% opposed it.]

With the option to sentence someone convicted of murder to "life imprisonment, with absolutely no possibility of parole" instead of the death penalty:

  • 49% chose the death penalty as the sentence for someone convicted of murder
  • 46% chose the life imprisonment option as the sentence for someone convicted of murder.

[Note: Gallup found that before 2000, there was a clear majority prefering the death sentence here.]

When considering how often the sentence of death is imposed in the United States, the results of the Gallup Poll reveal:

  • 49% did not believe that the death penalty is imposed often enough
  • 26% believed it to be "about the right amount"
  • 18% found it imposed too often.

For more details on the findings and the Gallup Poll methodology, check out the Gallup site.