Actions Speak Louder Than Opinions

In the Death Penalty Study, half the people (selected at random) were asked a standard but biased question:

 

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

 

Fully 24% of abolitionists stated the opinion that they favored the death penalty (red bar).

 

The other half of the people in the study were asked a less biased question. Which do you agree with more:

 

'The penalty for murder should be the death penalty? OR The penalty for murder should be life in prison with absolutely no possibility of parole?'

 

When asked that way, only 14% of abolitionists stated the opinion that they favored the death penalty (green bar).

 

There are many reasons why people (including abolitionists) might agree with an opinion in favor of the death penalty. Agreement is heavily influenced by how the opinion is asked. But if a person is not okay with any method of execution, then that person is an abolitionist by virtue of actions she or he is unwilling to take (kill a human being).