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Pew Research Center. Nov. 9-14, 2011. N=2,001 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

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"Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?"
2006: "As I list some programs and proposals that are being discussed in this country today, please tell me whether you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose each. The death penalty for persons convicted of murder."

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Strongly
Favor
Favor Oppose Strongly
Oppose
Unsure
% % % % %

11/9-14/11

28 34 20 11 7

3/8-12/06

27 38 19 8 8

 

Gallup Poll. Oct. 6-9, 2011. N=1,005 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

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"Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?"

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Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %
10/6-9/11 61 35 4
10/7-10/10 64 29 6
10/1-4/09 65 31 5
10/3-5/08 64 30 5
10/4-7/07 69 27 4
5/5-7/06 65 28 7
10/13-16/05 64 30 6
10/11-14/04 64 31 5
5/04 71 26 3
10/03 64 32 4
5/19-21/03 70 28 2
5/5-7/03 74 24 2
10/02 70 25 5
5/02 72 25 3
10/01 68 26 6
5/01 65 27 8
2/01 67 25 8
9/00 67 28 5
6/00 66 26 8
2/00 66 28 6
2/99 71 22 7
5/95 77 13 10
9/94 80 16 4
6/91 76 18 6

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"In your opinion, is the death penalty imposed too often, about the right amount, or not often enough?" Options rotated

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Too often About right Not enough Unsure
% % % %
10/6-9/11 25 27 40 8
10/7-10/10 18 26 49 7
10/1-4/09 20 24 49 7
10/3-5/08 21 23 48 8
10/4-7/07 21 26 49 4
5/8-11/06 21 25 51 3
5/2-5/05 20 24 53 3
5/04 23 25 48 4
5/03 23 26 48 3
5/02 22 24 47 7
5/01 21 34 38 7

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"Generally speaking, do you believe the death penalty is applied fairly or unfairly in this country today?"

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Fairly Unfairly Unsure
% % %
10/6-9/11 52 41 6
10/7-10/10 58 36 7
10/1-4/09 57 34 9
10/3-5/08 54 38 8
10/4-7/07 57 38 5
5/8-11/06 60 35 4
5/2-5/05 61 35 4
5/04 55 39 6
5/03 60 37 3
5/02 53 40 7
6/00 51 41 8

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"Do you feel that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to the commitment of murder -- that it lowers the murder rate -- or not?"

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Acts as a
deterrent
Does not Unsure
% % %
10/6-9/11 32 64 4
5/8-11/06 34 64 2
5/04 35 62 3
6/91 51 41 8

 

CNN/ORC Poll. Sept. 23-25, 2011. N=1,010 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

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"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?"

.

Death penalty Life
imprisonment
Unsure    
% % %    

9/23-25/11

48 50 2    

Democrats

28 69 3    

Independents

50 47 3    

Republicans

67 31 2    

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5/14-17/09

53 46 2    

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"How often do you think that a person has been executed under the death penalty who was, in fact, innocent of the crime he or she was charged with? Do you think this has happened in the past five years, or not?"

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Has Has not Unsure    
% % %    

9/23-25/11

72 23 5    

 

Gallup Poll. Oct. 7-10, 2010. N=1,025 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

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"Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?" N=511 (Form A), MoE 5.

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Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %
10/7-10/10 64 29 6
10/1-4/09 65 31 5
10/3-5/08 64 30 5
10/4-7/07 69 27 4
5/5-7/06 65 28 7
10/13-16/05 64 30 6
10/11-14/04 64 31 5
5/04 71 26 3
10/03 64 32 4
5/19-21/03 70 28 2
5/5-7/03 74 24 2
10/02 70 25 5
5/02 72 25 3
10/01 68 26 6
5/01 65 27 8
2/01 67 25 8
9/00 67 28 5
6/00 66 26 8
2/00 66 28 6
2/99 71 22 7
5/95 77 13 10
9/94 80 16 4
6/91 76 18 6

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"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?" Options rotated. N=514 (Form B), MoE 5.

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Death penalty Life
imprisonment
Unsure
% % %
10/7-10/10 49 46 6
5/5-7/06 47 48 5

.

"In your opinion, is the death penalty imposed too often, about the right amount, or not often enough?" Options rotated

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Too often About right Not enough Unsure
% % % %
10/7-10/10 18 26 49 7
10/1-4/09 20 24 49 7
10/3-5/08 21 23 48 8
10/4-7/07 21 26 49 4
5/8-11/06 21 25 51 3
5/2-5/05 20 24 53 3
5/04 23 25 48 4
5/03 23 26 48 3
5/02 22 24 47 7
5/01 21 34 38 7

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"Generally speaking, do you believe the death penalty is applied fairly or unfairly in this country today?"

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Fairly Unfairly Unsure
% % %
10/7-10/10 58 36 7
10/1-4/09 57 34 9
10/3-5/08 54 38 8
10/4-7/07 57 38 5
5/8-11/06 60 35 4
5/2-5/05 61 35 4
5/04 55 39 6
5/03 60 37 3
5/02 53 40 7
6/00 51 41 8

 

Gallup Poll. Oct. 1-4, 2009. N=1,013 adults nationwide. Margin of error 4.

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"How often do you think that a person has been executed under the death penalty who was, in fact, innocent of the crime he or she was charged with? Do you think this has happened in the past five years, or not?"

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Has happened Has not Unsure
% % %
10/1-4/09 59 31 10
5/8-11/06 63 27 10
5/2-5/05 59 33 8
5/5-7/03 73 22 5

 

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. May 14-17, 2009. Adults nationwide.

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"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?" N=515 (Form A), MoE 4.5

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Death penalty Life
imprisonment
Unsure    
% % %    

5/14-17/09

53 46 2    

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"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?" N=495 (Form B), MoE 4.5

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Is cruel and
unusual
Don't feel
that way
     
% %      

5/14-17/09

26 73      

 

CBS News Poll. March 12-16, 2009. N=1,142 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"As you may know, the legal drinking age is 21. Would you approve or disapprove of states lowering the drinking age to 18, if the states felt that would give the police more time to enforce other laws?"

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Approve Disapprove Unsure    
% % %    

3/12-16/09

24 73 3    

 

CBS News/New York Times Poll. July 7-14, 2008. N=1,796 adults nationwide (margin of error 3), including, with an oversample, 297 blacks (margin of error 6) and 246 Hispanics (margin of error 6).

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"Have you ever felt you were stopped by the police just because of your race or ethnic background?"

.

Yes No Unsure    
% % %    

ALL

13 86 -    

Whites

7 93 0    

Blacks

43 57 0    

Hispanics

30 69 1    

 

Quinnipiac University Poll. July 8-13, 2008. N=1,783 registered voters nationwide.

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"Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?" Split sample A

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Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %
7/8-13/08 63 29 8
12/7-12/04 62 29 9

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"The Supreme Court has recently ruled that a mandatory death penalty for child rape is unconstitutional. Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of child rape?" Split sample A

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Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %
7/8-13/08 55 38 7

 

The Harris Poll. Feb. 5-11, 2008. N=1,010 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

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"Do you believe in capital punishment -- that is, the death penalty -- or are you opposed to it?"

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Believe In It Opposed Unsure
% % %
2/5-11/08 63 30 7
12/10-16/03 69 22 9
7/01 67 26 7
2000 64 25 11
1999 71 21 8
1997 75 22 3
1983 68 27 5
1976 67 25 8
1973 59 31 10
1970 47 42 11
1969 48 38 14
1965 38 47 15

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"Do you feel that executing people who commit murder deters others from committing murder, or do you think such executions don't have much effect?"

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Deters
Others
Not Much
Effect
Unsure
% % %
2/5-11/08 42 52 6
12/10-16/03 41 53 6
7/01 42 52 7
2000 44 50 7
1999 47 49 4
1997 49 49 2
1983 63 32 5
1976 59 34 7

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"In general, would you like to see an increase or decrease in the number of convicted criminals who are executed, or no change?"

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Increase Decrease No Change Unsure
% % % %
2/5-11/08 36 26 31 7
12/10-16/03 36 21 33 11
7/01 35 26 30 8
2000 36 22 31 11
1999 43 21 28 7
1997 53 14 27 6

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"Do you think that innocent people are sometimes convicted of murder, or that this never happens?"

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Sometimes Never Unsure
% % %
2/5-11/08 95 4 1
12/10-16/03 95 4 2
7/01 94 3 3
2000 94 5 1
1999 95 3 1

 

ABC News/Facebook poll. Dec. 16-19, 2007. N=1,142 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?"

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Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %

12/16-19/07

65 30 5
6/22-25/06 65 32 3

6/05

66 32 2

4/21-24/05

65 29 6
1/03 64 31 5
5/02 65 26 9
4/01 63 28 9
6/00 63 27 10
1/00 64 27 9
8/98 69 27 4
8/96 77 19 4

 

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Nov. 2-4, 2007. N=1,024 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

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"Which comes closer to your view? States should be allowed to execute prisoners sentenced to the death penalty by means of lethal injection. OR, Lethal injection of death row prisoners represents cruel and unusual punishment that should not be permitted."

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Allow Lethal
Injection
Should Not
Be Permitted
Unsure    
% % %    

11/2-4/07

70 28 2    

 

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. July 18-21, 2007. N=1,125 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Some people support the use of surveillance cameras in public places as a way to help solve crimes. Others say these cameras go too far as a government intrusion on personal privacy. What's your opinion? Do you support or oppose the increased use of surveillance cameras in public places?"

.

Support

Oppose

Depends
(vol.)

% % %

ALL adults

71 25 5

Democrats

66 30

Independents

71 23

Republicans

81 16

Men

66 29

Women

75 21

 

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. July 17-18, 2007. N=900 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Some people support increasing the use of surveillance cameras in public spaces because they think it would help stop or catch terrorists and other criminals. Other people oppose increasing the use of surveillance cameras because they think it would violate the privacy of law-abiding citizens. Which of these positions is closer to your own? Do you support increasing the use of surveillance cameras or oppose increasing the use of surveillance cameras?"

.

Support

Oppose

Combined/
Depends (vol.)

Unsure

% % % %

7/17-18/07

58 28 11 3

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"How concerned are you that the government is using surveillance technologies like cameras and monitoring of personal information to get private information about you? . . ."

.

Very
Concerned

Somewhat
Concerned

Not Very
Concerned

Not at All
Concerned

Unsure

% % % % %

7/17-18/07

29 26 18 25 1

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"How concerned are you that private companies are using surveillance technologies like cameras and monitoring of personal information to get private information about you? . . ."

.

Very
Concerned

Somewhat
Concerned

Not Very
Concerned

Not at All
Concerned

Unsure

% % % % %

7/17-18/07

46 29 9 13 2

 

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. June 22-25, 2006. N=1,000 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder: the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole?" Options rotated

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Death
Penalty
Life In
Prison
Unsure
% % %
6/22-25/06 50 46 5
6/05 51 46 3
1/03 49 45 6
5/02 46 43 11
4/01 46 45 9
1/00 48 43 10

 

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey. March 8-12, 2006. N=1,405 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"As I list some programs and proposals that are being discussed in this country today, please tell me whether you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose each. The death penalty for persons convicted of murder."

.

Strongly
Favor
Favor Oppose Strongly
Oppose
Unsure
% % % % %

3/8-12/06

27 38 19 8 8

 

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey. Dec. 7-11, 2005. N=1,502 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?"

.

Favor

Oppose

Unsure

% % %

12/7-11/05

62 30 8

 

Gallup Poll. Oct. 13-16, 2005. N=1,012 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

.

"Is there more crime in your area than there was a year ago, or less?"

.

.

More Less Same (vol.) Unsure
% % % %
10/13-16/05 47 33 18 2
10/11-14/04 37 37 22 4
10/03 40 39 19 2
10/02 37 34 24 5
10/01 26 52 18 4
8-9/00 34 46 15 5
10/98 31 48 16 5
8/97 46 32 20 2
7/96 46 24 25 5
3/92 54 19 23 4
9/90 51 18 24 8
6/89 53 18 22 7
1/89 47 21 27 5
1983 37 17 36 10
1981 54 8 29 9
1977 43 17 32 8
1975 50 12 29 9
1972 51 10 27 12

.

.

"Is there more crime in the U.S. than there was a year ago, or less?"

.

.

More Less Same (vol.) Unsure
% % % %
10/13-16/05 67 21 9 3
10/11-14/04 53 28 14 5
10/03 60 25 11 4
10/02 62 21 11 6
10/01 41 43 10 6
8-9/00 47 41 7 5
10/98 52 35 8 5
8/97 64 25 6 5
7/96 71 15 8 6
10/93 87 4 5 4
3/92 89 3 4 4
9/90 84 3 7 6
6/89 84 5 5 6

.

.

"Overall, how would you describe the problem of crime in the United States? Is it extremely serious, very serious, moderately serious, not too serious, or not serious at all?"

.

.

Extremely
Serious
Very
Serious
Moderately
Serious
Not Too
Serious
Not Serious
At All
Unsure
% % % % % %
10/13-16/05 19 30 46 4 - 1
10/11-14/04 13 29 52 5 - 1
10/03 17 37 40 4 1 1
8-9/00 22 38 35 3 1 1

.

.

"Overall, how would you describe the problem of crime in the area where you live? Is it extremely serious, very serious, moderately serious, not too serious, or not serious at all?"

.

.

Extremely
Serious
Very
Serious
Moderately
Serious
Not Too
Serious
Not Serious
At All
Unsure
% % % % % %
10/13-16/05 5 7 30 39 19 -
10/11-14/04 2 6 31 37 24 -
10/03 4 7 33 35 21 -
8-9/00 3 9 35 35 18 -

 

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. June 2-5, 2005. N=1,002 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Who do you trust more to deal with the issue of the death penalty: your state legislature or your state courts?" Options rotated

.

State
Legislature
State
Courts
Both
Equally
(vol.)
Neither
(vol.)
Unsure
% % % % %
6/2-5/05 40 53 1 4 1

 

CBS News Poll. April 13-16, 2005. N=1,149 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"What do you think should be the penalty for persons convicted of murder: the death penalty, life in prison with no chance of parole, or a long prison sentence with a chance of parole?"

.

Death
Penalty
Life in
Prison
Long
Sentence
Depends
(vol.)
Unsure

%

%

%

%

%

4/13-16/05

39

39

6

13

3


 

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. March 29-30, 2005. N=900 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of premeditated murder?"

.

Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %
3/29-30/05 69 24 8
6/03 69 23 8
6/01 68 22 10
6/00 68 24 8
2/00 67 22 11
1/98 74 18 8
6/97 73 18 9
5/97 76 17 7

 

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Robert Teeter (R). Jan. 19-21, 2003. N=500 adults nationwide.

.

"Recently there has been some discussion about whether the death penalty is fairly applied. Which of the following statements comes closer to your view? Statement A: There should be a moratorium on state executions until death penalty procedures are officially reviewed. OR, Statement B: No moratorium on state executions is needed -- states only need to ensure that the accused receive fair trials."

.

%

.

A. There should be a moratorium 34
B. There should not be a moratorium 57
I don't believe in the death penalty (vol.) 4
Not sure 5

 

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. July 23-24, 2002. N=900 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Do you favor or oppose making the death penalty mandatory for anyone found guilty of abducting and murdering a child?"

.

Favor Oppose Depends
(vol.)
Unsure
% % % %
7/02 71 17 8 4

 

Gallup Poll. May 6-9, 2002. N=1,012 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for [see below]?"

.

    Favor Oppose Unsure  
    % % %  
  Women 68 29 3  
  Juveniles 26 69 5  
  The mentally ill 19 75 6  
  The mentally retarded 13 82 5  

 

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. June 6-7, 2001. N=900 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of premeditated murder?"
Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %
6/01 68 22 10

.

"Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for a person convicted of premeditated murder, if that person is shown to be mentally retarded?"
Favor Oppose Unsure
% % %
6/01 19 67 14

 

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. April 20-24, 2001. N=1,003 adults nationwide. Margin of error 3.

.

"In deciding how to vote in a state or national election, how important is it to you that a political candidate agrees with your position on the death penalty: very important, somewhat important, not too important or not important at all?"
%
Very important 28
Somewhat important 44
Not too important 19
Not important at all 8
No opinion 2

.

"Regardless of your overall opinion on the death penalty, for each statement I read please tell me if you agree with it strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat or disagree strongly.
Agree
Strongly
Agree
Somewhat
Disagree
Strongly
Disagree
Somewhat
No
Opinion
% % % % %
"The death penalty is fair because it prevents killers from killing again."
48 24 16 10 1

.

"The death penalty is unfair because sometimes an innocent person is executed."
35 33 11 18 2

.

"The death penalty is unfair because it's applied differently from county to county and state to state."
32 31 13 17 6

.

"The death penalty is fair because it gives satisfaction and closure to the families of murder victims."
30 30 22 15 4

.

"The death penalty is fair because it's an eye for an eye -- the killer is killed."
28 28 26 15 3

.

"The death penalty is unfair because it's applied unequally to blacks compared to whites."
22 15 33 20 10

.

"Do you feel that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder -- that it lowers the murder rate -- or not?"
%
Acts as a deterrent to murder 43
Does not 52
No opinion 6

.

"Some people say there should be a halt in all executions in this country while a commission studies whether the death penalty has or has not been administered fairly. Others say there already are enough safeguards to prevent unfair or mistaken executions. What do you think? Would you support or oppose a halt in executions while this issue is studied?"
%
Support 51
Oppose 43
No opinion 6

 

Gallup/CNN/USA Today Poll. April 20-22, 2001. Nationwide.

.

"Suppose for a moment that a violent crime is committed against a pregnant woman and the unborn child is harmed or killed. Do you think the criminal should or should not face additional charges for harming the unborn child as well as the woman?" Form A (N=500 adults, MoE 5)
%
Should 93
Should not 5
No opinion 2

.

"Suppose for a moment that a violent crime is committed against a pregnant woman and the fetus is harmed or killed. Do you think the criminal should or should not face additional charges for harming the fetus as well as the woman?" Form B (N=515 adults, MoE 5)
%
Should 86
Should not 9
No opinion 5

 

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Robert Teeter (R). July 27-28, 2000. N=500 registered voters nationwide.

.

"From what you know, do you think that the death penalty is or is not applied fairly?"
%
Applied fairly 42
Not applied fairly 42
Depends (vol.) 8
Not sure 8

.

"As you may have heard, there have been several instances in which criminals sentenced to be executed have been released based on new evidence or new DNA testing. Based on this information, would you favor or oppose a suspension of the death penalty until questions about its fairness can be studied?"
%
Favor suspension 63
Oppose suspension 30
Depends (vol.) 4
Not sure 3

 

Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. June 28-29, 2000. N=900 registered voters nationwide. MoE 3.

.

"Regardless of how you plan to vote for president, from what you know, do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Bush has handled death penalty cases in Texas?"
%
Approve 49
Disapprove 26
Not sure 25

.

"Admittedly the system varies from state to state, but in general, do you think that death row inmates are given too much help and opportunity to appeal their cases and try to prove their innocence, or are inmates not given sufficient help and opportunity to appeal their cases and prove their innocence?"
%
Too much 48
Not enough 19
About the right amount (vol.) 23
Not sure 10

 

CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. June 23-25, 2000. N=1,020 adults nationwide. MoE 3.

.

"How often do you think that a person has been executed who was, in fact, innocent of the crime he or she was charged with? Do you think this has EVER happened in the past five years, or do you think it has NEVER happened?" Form A (N=520, MoE 5)
%
Has happened 80
Has not 14
No opinion 6

.

"Since George W. Bush became governor of Texas in 1995, how often do you think that a person in Texas has been executed who was, in fact, innocent of the crime he or she was charged with? Do you think this has EVER happened since Bush became governor, or do you think it has NEVER happened?" Form B (N=231, MoE 7)
%
Has happened 46
Has not 26
No opinion 28

 

ABC News.com Poll. June 14-18, 2000. N=1,004 adults nationwide. MoE 3.

.

"As you may have heard, a recent study found that over two-thirds of death penalty sentences that are appealed are later overturned by higher courts because of flaws in the way the cases were investigated or tried. Does this finding make you more likely to (support/oppose) the death penalty, more likely to (oppose/support) the death penalty, or doesn't it have much effect on your opinion one way or the other?"
%
More likely to support 13
More likely to oppose 25
Not much effect 58
No opinion 4

.

"Regardless of whom you support for president, given what you know would you say you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush has handled the death penalty during his time as governor of Texas?"
%
Approve 38
Disapprove 25
No opinion 37

 

ABC News.com Poll. May 31-June 4, 2000. N=1,013 adults nationwide. MoE 3.

.

"How would you rate the crime problem in this country? Would you say it's very bad, bad, not too bad or not bad at all?"
Very
Bad
Bad Not Too
Bad
Not Bad
At All
No
Opinion
% % % % %
6/00 36 44 18 1 1
6/97 42 44 12 1 1
5/96 48 42 9 1 0

.

Asked of those who answered "Very Bad" or "Bad":
"When you say the crime problem in this country is bad, is that based on what you've seen or read in the news, or is it based on your own personal experience?"
News Exper-
ience
No
Opinion
% % %
6/00 82 17 2
6/97 83 16 1
5/96 76 22 2

.

"How would you rate the crime problem in your own community where you live? Would you say it's very bad, bad, not too bad or not bad at all?"
Very
Bad
Bad Not Too
Bad
Not Bad
At All
No
Opinion
% % % % %
6/00 5 18 52 25 1
6/97 7 18 49 25 -
5/96 7 24 47 21 -

 

Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates. June 1-2, 2000. N=750 adults nationwide. MoE 4 (total sample).

.

"Which one of the following four statements comes closest to your opinion of who should be subject to the death penalty? Only those convicted of murder. Only those convicted of the most brutal murders, mass murders and serial killings. All those convicted of murder, other especially violent crimes, and major drug dealing. OR, Do you oppose the death penalty in all cases?"
ALL White,
Non-Hispanic
Non-White
% % %
Murder 12 13 10
Brutal murders 38 40 33
Murder, drug dealing 23 24 15
Oppose in all cases 19 16 30
Don't know 8 7 12

.

Asked of death penalty supporters:
"Which of the following is the main reason why you support the death penalty? It deters others from committing violent crime. An 'eye for an eye' is just punishment for those convicted. It provides some comfort and consolation for the loved ones of the victims. OR, Some other reason."
%
Deters others 34
Eye for an eye 26
Comfort and consolation 13
Other reason 25
Don't know 2

.

Asked of death penalty opponents:
"Which of the following is the main reason why you oppose the death penalty? It does not deter others from committing violent crime. It's wrong for the state to put people to death. It results in some innocent people being put to death. It hurts America's image in the world. OR, Some other reason?"

%
Does not deter others 11
Wrong for state to put people to death 20
Some innocent people put to death 28
Hurts America's image 2
Other reason 36
Don't know 3

.

.

"Whatever your position on the death penalty, do you think it is a major deterrent to violent crime, a minor deterrent, or not a deterrent at all?"

ALL Death
Penalty
Supporters
Death
Penalty
Opponents
% % %
Major deterrent 33 41 8
Minor deterrent 29 32 20
Not a deterrent 30 21 66
Don't know 8 6 4

.

"In general, how confident are you that those convicted of violent crimes and sentenced to death are actually guilty? Are you . . ."

ALL Death
Penalty
Supporters
Death
Penalty
Opponents
% % %
Very confident 32 40 11
Somewhat confident 40 42 32
Not too confident 14 8 33
Not at all confident 6 3 18
Don't know 8 7 6

.

"When state governors make decisions about whether to delay an execution or recommend clemency in Death Row cases, do you think they generally make these decisions MAINLY based on the facts of the case or MAINLY because of political considerations?"
%
Facts of the case 36
Political considerations 55
Don't know 9

.

"As you may know, Texas Governor George W. Bush said last week that, for the first time since he became governor, he was likely to grant a stay of execution to a Death Row inmate who wants new DNA testing of crime scene evidence. Do you think Bush decided to do this MAINLY based on the facts of the case or MAINLY because of political considerations? "
ALL Bush
Supporters
Gore
Supporters

.

% % %

.

Facts of the case 27 42 12

.

Political considerations 59 41 79

.

Don't know 14 17 9

.

.

"Since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s, do you think many innocent people have been wrongly executed, only some, very few, or none?"
%
Many 8
Only some 33
Very few 41
None 11
Don't know 7

.

"Earlier this year, the governor of Illinois suspended all executions in that state because he said a number of errors had been made in sentencing people to die and he wanted to make sure no innocent people were executed. Do you think other states should suspend executions or should they continue?"
%
Should suspend 37
Should continue 50
Don't know 13

.

"In general, do you think states should make it easier for Death Row inmates to introduce new evidence that might prove their innocence, even if that might result in delays in the death penalty process?"
%
Should make it easier 82
Should not 12
Don't know 6

.

"New and more sophisticated DNA testing is now available that might help prove the innocence of some current Death Row inmates. Do you think that states should permit DNA testing in all cases where it might prove a person's guilt or innocence?"
%
Yes 95
No 3
Don't know 2

.

"Do you think that the federal government should REQUIRE states to permit DNA testing in all cases where it might prove a person's guilt or innocence?"
%
Yes 88
No 9
Don't know 2

 

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Assoc. April 12-16, 2000. N=1,000 adults nationwide.

.

"Now, I am going to read you some things that might be done to reduce violent crime in this country. As I read each one, please tell me if you think it would reduce the amount of violent crime a lot, a little, or not at all. Do you think [see below] would reduce the amount of violent crime a lot, a little, or not at all?" Each item asked of half the sample.
A
Lot
A
Little
Not
At All
Unsure
% % % %
"More job and community programs for young people"
63 29 7 1

.

"Longer jail terms for those convicted of violent crimes"
49 33 15 3

.

"Restrictions on the amount of violence shown on TV"
48 37 14 1

.

"More police on the streets" 46 45 7 2

.

"Stricter gun control laws" 41 33 24 2

.

"In general, how safe would you say you and your family are from crime at each of the following locations? [See below], are you and your family very safe, somewhat safe, not too safe, or not at all safe from crime?"
Very Some-
what
Not
Too
Not
At All
Doesn't
Apply (vol.)/
Unsure
% % % % %
"At home at night" 67 28 4 1 -

.

"When walking in your neighborhood after dark"
49 33 8 5 5

.

"At school" 33 36 9 3 19

.

"When at a shopping mall at night"
22 49 16 6 7

.

"In the past 12 months, have you or your family, or has someone else in your neighborhood, had money or property stolen?"
%
Yes -- self or family 11

.

Yes -- someone else in neighborhood 12
No 76
Unsure 1

.

"In the past 12 months, have you or your family, or has someone else in your neighborhood, been physically assaulted or mugged?"
%
Yes -- self or family 2

.

Yes -- someone else in neighborhood 4
No 93

 

Gallup Poll. Sept. 24-Nov. 16, 1999. N=2,006 adults nationwide (MoE 4), including, with an oversample, 1,001 blacks (MoE +/- 5) and 934 whites (MoE 4).

.

ALL Blacks Whites
% % %
"Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of your local police?"
Favorable 81 58 85
Unfavorable 17 36 13
Don't know/Refused 2 6 2

.

"Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of state police or state troopers in your area?"
Favorable 83 64 87
Unfavorable 11 26 8
Don't know/Refused 6 10 5

.

"Do you feel you are treated fairly by each of the following or not?

.

"The local police in your area"
Fairly 87 66 91
Not fairly 10 27 7
Not applicable (vol.) 3 5 2
Don't know/Refused - 2 -

.

"The state police or state troopers in your state"
Fairly 86 69 89
Not fairly 6 17 4
Not applicable (vol.) 6 10 6
Don't know/Refused 2 4 1

.

"The state police or state troopers in other states you travel through"
Fairly 74 55 78
Not fairly 11 24 8
Not applicable (vol.) 13 18 12
Don't know/Refused 2 3 2

.

"It has been reported that some police officers stop motorists of certain racial or ethnic groups because the officers believe that these groups are more likely than others to commit certain types of crimes. Do you believe that this practice, known as 'racial profiling,' is widespread, or not?"
Is widespread 59 77 56
Is not widespread 34 16 38
Don't know/Refused 7 7 6

.

"Do you approve or disapprove of the use of 'racial profiling' by police?"
Approve 14 9 15
Disapprove 81 87 80
Don't know/Refused 5 4 5

.

"Have you ever felt that you were stopped by the police just because of your race or ethnic background?"
Yes 11 42 6
No 89 57 94
Don't know/Refused - 1 -

.

Asked of those who answered "Yes" to the question above:
"How many times do you feel this has happened to you in your lifetime?"
1 17 14 22
2 20 13 31
3 13 17 3
4 9 12 7
5 9 11 7
6-10 16 15 17
11-25 9 9 13
26 or more 6 6 -
Don't know/Refused 1 3 -

 

CNN/Time Poll conducted by Yankelovich Partners. July 14-15, 1999. N=1,017 adults nationwide.

.

"Do you think there should be stiffer penalties for violent crimes when they are committed in front of a child, or don't you think so?"
%
Should be stiffer penalties 81
Don't think so 15
Not sure 4

.

"Do you think there should be stiffer penalties for fraud when it is committed against the elderly, or don't you think so?"
%
Should be stiffer penalties 81
Don't think so 15
Not sure 4

 

The Harris Poll. March 19-23, 1999. N=1,008 adults nationwide.
.
"How would you rate the police in your community on the following [see below]: excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor?"
Excel-
lent
Pretty
Good
Only
Fair
Poor Unsure
% % % % %
"Being helpful and friendly" 32 36 21 9 2
"Not using excessive force" 28 40 18 9 5
"Responding quickly to calls for help and assistance" 27 41 16 10 5
"Treating people fairly" 25 40 20 11 3
"Preventing crime" 21 44 24 10 2
"Solving crime" 17 43 26 11 3
.
ALL Whites Blacks Hispanics
% % % %
"Do you think the police in your community treat all races fairly or do they tend to treat one or more of these groups unfairly?"
All races fairly 59 67 30 48
One or more groups unfairly 33 25 63 52
Don't know/Refused 8 7 7 -
.
"Do you think that police brutality against blacks and Hispanics in your community happens often, occasionally or never?"
Often 8 3 27 19
Occasionally 47 46 52 44
Never 38 43 17 34
Don't know/Refused 6 7 3 4
.
"Are you sometimes afraid that the police will stop and arrest you when you are completely innocent, or not?"
Yes 22 16 43 28
No 78 84 56 72
Don't know 1 1 1 -

 

Gallup Poll. March 5-7, 1999. N=1,021 adults nationwide.

.

"How much respect do you have for the police in your area: a great deal, some, or hardly any?"
3/99 3/91 1967 1965
% % % %
A great deal 64 60 77 70
Some 29 32 17 22
Hardly any 7 7 4 4
No opinion - 1 2 4

.

.

"How much confidence do you have in the ability of the police to protect you from violent crime: a great deal, quite a lot, not very much, or none at all?"
3/99 9/95 10/93 1989 1981
% % % % %
A great deal 29 20 14 14 15
Quite lot 41 30 31 34 34
Not very much 25 39 45 42 42
None at all 4 9 9 8 8
No opinion 1 2 1 2 1

.

"In general, how would you rate the job the police in your city are doing in dealing with crime: an excellent job, a good job, or only a fair job?"
3/99 2/93
% %
Excellent 30 19
Good 48 52
Only fair 21 27
No opinion 1 2

.

"Have you personally ever felt treated unfairly by the police or by a police officer?"
ALL Whites Blacks
% % %
Yes 27 24 43
No 73 76 57

.

"Some people feel that the job police officers perform is so difficult and important that it is wrong to second-guess them by prosecuting or punishing them for wrongdoing which occurs in the course of their job performance. Would you agree or disagree that it is wrong to prosecute and punish police officers?"
3/99 2/93
% %
Agree 17 18
Disagree 80 76
No opinion 3 6

.

"In some places in the nation, there have been charges of police brutality. Do you think there is any police brutality in your area, or not?"
3/99 7/91 3/91 1967 1965
% % % % %
Yes 38 39 35 6 9
No 57 56 60 81 79
No opinion 5 5 5 13 12

.

"Do you think that police officers in your area use their guns too frequently, not frequently enough, or about right?"
%
Too frequently 8
Not frequently enough 8
About right 80
No opinion 4

 

CNN/Time Poll conducted by Yankelovich Partners. Dec. 17-18, 1998. N=1,031 adults nationwide.

.

"Do you think the police should or should not be allowed to collect DNA information from suspected criminals, similar to how they take fingerprints?"
%
Should 66
Should not 29
Not sure 5

.

"Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea for the FBI to create a DNA database by collecting DNA information from suspected criminals and crime scenes throughout the country?"
%
Good idea 71
Bad idea 24
Not sure 5

 

Gallup/CNN/USA Today Poll. Oct. 23-25, 1998. N=1,013 adults nationwide.

.

.

"Overall, do you feel more threatened or less threatened by crime today than you did five years ago?"
%
More 47
Less 41
Same (vol.) 11
No opinion 1


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