Americans find that we should impose the death penalty more or that
we impose it about right - only 21% that it is imposed too often.
(Gallup, May 2006 - 51% that we should impose it more, 25% that we
impose it about right)
capital punishment morally acceptable - that was the highest
percentage answer for all questions (Gallup, April 2006, moral
values poll). In May, 2007, the percentage dropped to 66%, still the
highest percentage answer, with 27% opposed. (Gallup, 5/29/07)
When asked the
general question "do you support capital punishment for murderers?"
, 67% of Americans said yes, with 28% opposed (Gallup, 10/06).
81% of the
American people supported the execution of Timothy McVeigh, with
only 16% opposed. "(T)his view appears to be the consensus of all
major groups in society, including men, women, whites, nonwhites,
"liberals" and "conservatives." (Gallup 5/2/01).
Connecticut respondents voiced support for serial/rapist murderer
Michael Ross' "voluntary" execution. (Quinnipiac University Poll,
January 12, 2005).
suspect that South Dakota is more conservative than Connecticut and
that South Dakotan's might support Page's execution, for the
torture/murder of Chester Allan Poage, at an even higher percentage,
with the inclusion of the crimes details.
While 81% gave
specific case support for Timothy McVeigh's execution, Gallup also
showed a 65% support AT THE SAME TIME when asked a general "do you
support capital punishment for murderers?" question. (Gallup,
That very wide
"error rates", between general support and specific case support, is
likely due to the differences in (1) the widespread media coverage
of anti death penalty claims, without the balance of contradicting
those false claims, producing lower general support, (2) the absence
of that influence when looking at individual cases when the public
knows the crimes, the guilt of the murderer, and absent the anti
death penalty bias factor, thus producing much higher specific case
support and/or (3) reluctance of some respondents to voice support
for the death penalty, unless specific examples of murderers and
their crimes are provided, which may also include (1) and (2) as
Penalty Opposition? Look Again.
those who say the oppose the death penalty do, in fact, support that
sanction under specific circumstances. That is not opposition to the
death penalty, but support for it. This provides firm evidence that
death penalty support is much wider and deeper than expressed with
the answer to the general death penalty polling questions.
57% of those
who say they oppose the death penalty, generally, actually do
support it for McVeigh's execution (81% supported the execution of
McVeigh, 16% opposed (Gallup 5/02/01), while 65% offer general
support for executions, with 28% opposed (Gallup, 6/10/01).
41% who say
they oppose the death penalty, generally, actually do support it for
terrorists. (79% support and 18% oppose the death penalty for
terrorists. 67% support and 29% oppose the death penalty for
murder.) (SAME POLL - Survey USA News Poll #12074, Sponsor: WABC-TV
New York, 4/26/2007 New York State poll)
90% of those
who, generally, say they oppose the death penalty, actual did
support it for Michael Ross. (SAME POLL - 85% say Connecticut serial
rapist/murderer Michael Ross should be allowed to waive appeals and
be executed. When asked whether they favor or oppose the death
penalty, 59% favor - 31% oppose (Quinnipiac University Poll, January
supporting the higher rates for specific cases, is this, from the
French daily Le Monde December 2006 (1):
respondents in favor of executing Saddam Hussein: USA: 82%
from the same
poll, we have this, even though we are led to believe there isn't
death penalty support in England or Europe.
In favor of
executing Saddam Great Britain: 69% France: 58% Germany: 53% Spain:
51% Italy: 46% (my note: This falls within the margin of error for
Penalty vs Life Without Parole
responding to this question: “If you could choose between the
following two approaches, which do you think is the better penalty
for murder: the death penalty (or) life imprisonment, with
absolutely no possibility of parole”, Gallup found
47% for the
death penalty, 48% for life without parole, (Gallup, May 2006).
including Gallup and Quinnipiac, speculate that this represents
lower support for the death penalty. Such improper speculation
cannot be justified and is an unethical use of pollsters opinion.
respondent group is saying do away with the other sanction or that
they oppose the other sanction. What is does mean is that 95% of US
citizens support the death penalty and/or life without parole for
murderers. It could also mean that 85% of all respondents support
both sanctions. For example, "Which do you think is better - vanilla
ice cream or chocolate ice cream?" 50% prefer chocolate, 45%
vanilla. However, 85% actually love both vanilla and chocolate ice
cream - with a slightly lower percentage loving vanilla, less.
Gallup question is highly prejudicial, which wrongly influence the
answers. This has become commonplace.
"absolutely" no possibility of parole doesn't exist.
absolute is that the executive branch can reduce sentences and the
legislature can change the laws and make them retroactive, if it
benefits the criminal, thereby offering two avenues for parole in
"absolute" no-parole cases.
polling question offers a false premise which, obviously, distorts
law it cannot be a choice of either only a death sentence or only a
life sentence, as Gallup wrongly poses. Constitutionally, the death
penalty cannot be mandatory. Therefore, at least two sentencing
options must always be provided to jurors in a death penalty
questions might be, IF you are searching for a true life vs
do you prefer the punishment options of 1) The death penalty or life
without parole? or 2) Life without parole, only, or lesser
sentences, excluding a death sentence in all cases?
this has the benefit of reflecting reality, as opposed to the
distorted fiction of Gallup's (and others') current life vs death
questions. The death penalty cannot be a punishment option, without
also having life or other options.
support is much deeper and much wider than we are often led to
believe, with 40-90% of those who say they, generally, oppose the
death penalty, actually supporting it under specific circumstances.
There is 82%
death penalty support in the US, as recently as December 2006.
95% of US
citizens support the death penalty and/or life without parole for
murderers. Therefore, we already have the most democratic approach -
we give jurors the choice between those two sentences.
Mr. Sharp has
appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS and many other
TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with
Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers
throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent
of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about,
testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and
distribution of this document is approved as long as it is distributed in
its entirety, without changes, inclusive of this statement.
recent results of a poll conducted by Novatris/Harris for the French
daily Le Monde on the death penalty shocked the editors and writers at
Germany's left-leaning SPIEGEL ONLINE (Dec. 22, 2006). When asked
whether they favored the death penalty for Saddam Hussein, a majority of
respondents in Germany, France and Spain responded in the affirmative.