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Conclusions About Soft Abstract Supporters of the Death Penalty

Based on their intended actions, actors performing the role of  Soft Abstract Supporters of the death penalty are paradoxical in their beliefs and behaviors.


On the one hand, they hold nearly identical scores regarding pro-death penalty beliefs with Hard Abstract Supporters who also favor the death penalty. On the death penalty jury, Soft Abstract Supporters voted overwhelming for the death penalty over life in prison. However, Soft Abstract Supporters declined an invitation to attend the execution of the person they helped sentence to death.


This apparent revulsion regarding the actual concrete act of execution is reflected in their nearly unanimous disdain for public executions and rejection of vicarious sadism.

With regard to disdain and vicarious sadism, Soft Abstract Supporters were more adamant than even Abolitionists. More than any other group, Soft Abstract Supporters want executions out of sight and out of mind.


Regarding actual sadism (making the executed suffer while they die), Soft Abstract Supporters are more in line with other supporters of the death penalty. Regarding methods of execution that Soft Abstract Supporters approve, they tend to favor less violent and less bloody methods like lethal injections. Among death penalty supporters, they are the least likely to approve of executions using the electric chair and gas chamber, hangings, executions using firearms, beheadings, and stoning.


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