Most Voters Prefer Alternatives to the Death Penalty

new poll demonstrates that U.S. voters don’t consider the capital punishment a wise use of their tax dollars.  It also finds that most U.S. voters don’t consider the death penalty the most appropriate punishment for murder

1,500 registered voters were surveyed for this comprehensive study of public attitudes towards the death penalty, released today by the Death Penalty Information Center.  In the poll, 61% of the voters preferred alternatives to the death penalty as the more appropriate punishments for murder.  (39% favored life without parole plus restitution for the victim’s family, 13% just life without parole, and 9% life with the possibility of parole.)

When asked about their personal budget priorities, the list was long, and the death penalty was at the bottom of it.  More pressing priorities included: emergency services, creating jobs, police and crime prevention, schools and libraries, public health care services, and roads and transportation.

Polls which only ask whether the public is for or against the death penalty usually find a majority in support of capital punishment; but it is clear that when real world alternatives are included – alternative punishments and alternative uses of government resources – that support collapses.

The poll also reveals that most voters (62%) either don’t care how their representatives vote on the death penalty, or would likely support a legislator who voted to end capital punishment in their state. So legislators now considering death penalty abolition in Illinois, and those elected officials in several other states who will be in the same boat in 2011, can take heart and safely vote to end executions.

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22 thoughts on “Most Voters Prefer Alternatives to the Death Penalty

  1. In fact, due to atypical incarceration requirements, inmates subjected to different treatment and court costs, it's actually more cost effective to eliminate the death penalty.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penal

    In addition, there are several officers involved in *throwing the switch*, as it were, to make it more complicated to determine who is the individual that did the actual deed.

    With the recent turnovers (postmortem) of death penalty cases due to DNA enlightenment, it's common sense to view that our judicial system is flawed. I think a better use of our penal system would be to eliminate all extracurricular activities for *career* offenders and convicts. Use them as experimental subjects for testing medicines, drugs, etc to better the rest of humanity. This is assuming that the hardened, despicable criminals are truly proven guilty. I am a serious pacifist against guns, I'm pro-choice and pro legalization of ALL drugs, but no offense, if some scumbag takes the life of someone else, then they don't deserve parole or any accoutrement associated with the current prison system.

    Plug them into chemo machines, radiation therapy and test THEM instead of lab rats.

    I bid you Peace.

  2. I'm confused… not saying it's right, but wouldn't the death penalty save more money than imprisoning someone for life?

  3. Actually Steven it is much more expensive to try a death penalty case, and now with so many people being found to have been innocent and released from death row it would only get more expensive. There are appeals and more appeals. It's truly cheaper to go for life without the possibility of parole.

  4. In fact, due to atypical incarceration requirements, inmates subjected to different treatment and court costs, it's actually more cost effective to eliminate the death penalty.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penal

    In addition, there are several officers involved in *throwing the switch*, as it were, to make it more complicated to determine who is the individual that did the actual deed.

    With the recent turnovers (postmortem) of death penalty cases due to DNA enlightenment, it's common sense to view that our judicial system is flawed. I think a better use of our penal system would be to eliminate all extracurricular activities for *career* offenders and convicts. Use them as experimental subjects for testing medicines, drugs, etc to better the rest of humanity. This is assuming that the hardened, despicable criminals are truly proven guilty. I am a serious pacifist against guns, I'm pro-choice and pro legalization of ALL drugs, but no offense, if some scumbag takes the life of someone else, then they don't deserve parole or any accoutrement associated with the current prison system.

    Plug them into chemo machines, radiation therapy and test THEM instead of lab rats.

    I bid you Peace.

  5. In fact, due to atypical incarceration requirements, inmates subjected to different treatment and court costs, it's actually more cost effective to eliminate the death penalty.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penal

    In addition, there are several officers involved in *throwing the switch*, as it were, to make it more complicated to determine who is the individual that did the actual deed.

    With the recent turnovers (postmortem) of death penalty cases due to DNA enlightenment, it's common sense to view that our judicial system is flawed. I think a better use of our penal system would be to eliminate all extracurricular activities for *career* offenders and convicts. Use them as experimental subjects for testing medicines, drugs, etc to better the rest of humanity. This is assuming that the hardened, despicable criminals are truly proven guilty. I am a serious pacifist against guns, I'm pro-choice and pro legalization of ALL drugs, but no offense, if some scumbag takes the life of someone else, then they don't deserve parole or any accoutrement associated with the current prison system.

    Plug them into chemo machines, radiation therapy and test THEM instead of lab rats.

    I bid you Peace.

  6. Honestly I can't believe the question of expense is even being asked. These people who are at risk of being executed are in this position because they are suspected of having killed someone else. They're in this position because we believe as a society that killing someone is a terrible thing. To go ahead and kill them ourselves makes no moral sense. Those in support of the death penalty are in support of it for vindictive, vengeful reasons. An eye for an eye has been rejected in civilized society, and the death penalty is its final holdout.

    If killing is immoral, so is the death penalty. Anyone that argues otherwise is not thinking rationally. I feel extreme displeasure for death penalty advocates. The additional risk of executing an innocent person, which we know has happened multiple times, makes it impossible to argue morally for the death penalty. If anyone believes it's okay to kill one innocent person in order to kill a thousand that are truly guilty, they have no moral fiber.

    I try to see the point of the other side's argument, but when it comes to state-sponsored murder I cannot believe that there is a valid argument for the other side. There is no valid argument. There is only revenge for them. And that is, and I hate to look at things at black and white but in this case it really is, evil. It's an evil position these death penalty advocates take.

  7. I’m confused… not saying it’s right, but wouldn’t the death penalty save more money than imprisoning someone for life?

  8. Actually Steven it is much more expensive to try a death penalty case, and now with so many people being found to have been innocent and released from death row it would only get more expensive. There are appeals and more appeals. It’s truly cheaper to go for life without the possibility of parole.

  9. In fact, due to atypical incarceration requirements, inmates subjected to different treatment and court costs, it’s actually more cost effective to eliminate the death penalty.

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

    In addition, there are several officers involved in *throwing the switch*, as it were, to make it more complicated to determine who is the individual that did the actual deed.

    With the recent turnovers (postmortem) of death penalty cases due to DNA enlightenment, it’s common sense to view that our judicial system is flawed. I think a better use of our penal system would be to eliminate all extracurricular activities for *career* offenders and convicts. Use them as experimental subjects for testing medicines, drugs, etc to better the rest of humanity. This is assuming that the hardened, despicable criminals are truly proven guilty. I am a serious pacifist against guns, I’m pro-choice and pro legalization of ALL drugs, but no offense, if some scumbag takes the life of someone else, then they don’t deserve parole or any accoutrement associated with the current prison system.

    Plug them into chemo machines, radiation therapy and test THEM instead of lab rats.

    I bid you Peace.

  10. Honestly I can’t believe the question of expense is even being asked. These people who are at risk of being executed are in this position because they are suspected of having killed someone else. They’re in this position because we believe as a society that killing someone is a terrible thing. To go ahead and kill them ourselves makes no moral sense. Those in support of the death penalty are in support of it for vindictive, vengeful reasons. An eye for an eye has been rejected in civilized society, and the death penalty is its final holdout.

    If killing is immoral, so is the death penalty. Anyone that argues otherwise is not thinking rationally. I feel extreme displeasure for death penalty advocates. The additional risk of executing an innocent person, which we know has happened multiple times, makes it impossible to argue morally for the death penalty. If anyone believes it’s okay to kill one innocent person in order to kill a thousand that are truly guilty, they have no moral fiber.

    I try to see the point of the other side’s argument, but when it comes to state-sponsored murder I cannot believe that there is a valid argument for the other side. There is no valid argument. There is only revenge for them. And that is, and I hate to look at things at black and white but in this case it really is, evil. It’s an evil position these death penalty advocates take.

  11. What's your alternative to the death penalty ?

    Life without parole ???

    Are you & "your" system so SCARED SCARED SCARED, as well as impotent ……. & merciless ……… that you lack the WILL or the POWER to transform or rectify your own ?

    Or are devoid of any faith in the Other … & the BELIEF in yourselves … that you can accomplish such transformation ?

  12. Or is it the present system of incarceration that make such a transformation impossible ……….

    for it's incapable of transforming its own inhumanity ?

  13. Or is it the very system of incarceration …… in this land & others ……. that makes such transformation impossible ……

    for it's incapable of such a transformation itself ?

  14. What’s your alternative to the death penalty ?

    Life without parole ???

    Are you & “your” system so SCARED SCARED SCARED, as well as impotent ……. & merciless ……… that you lack the WILL or the POWER to transform or rectify your own ?

    Or are devoid of any faith in the Other … & the BELIEF in yourselves … that you can accomplish such transformation ?

  15. Or is it the present system of incarceration that make such a transformation impossible ……….

    for it’s incapable of transforming its own inhumanity ?

  16. Or is it the very system of incarceration …… in this land & others ……. that makes such transformation impossible ……

    for it’s incapable of such a transformation itself ?