How U.S. Residents Feel...

Anti-Death Penalty Beliefs in Eight Opinions

Interpretation: The 4 opinions in the blue bars focus on the unfairness of the death penalty. In this view, the death penalty is applied in a discriminatory way to poor people, persons of color, and the innocent. A person who agrees with any 1 of these opinions is likely to agree with the other 3.


The 4 opinions in the green bars focus on the inherent immorality of the death penalty. According to this view, the death penalty violates religious beliefs, is morally wrong, violates human rights, and is just a nice name for premeditated murder.


Popularity: None of the anti-death penalty opinions were agreed to by a majority of people in the Death Penalty Study. A near majority agreed that many innocent people have been executed in the U.S. Many also agreed that many innocent people are on death row. Roughly equal numbers felt that the death penalty is applied unfairly to persons of color and the poor. Roughly a quarter of people in the study agreed with opinions that condemned the immorality of the death penalty. More people in the study were concerned about the unfairness of the death penalty than its immorality. Among Abolitionists, there is strong and roughly equal agreement that the death penalty is both unfair and immoral. However, among Soft Abstract Supporters, Hard Abstract Supporters, and Executioners, 43% agreed that the death penalty is unfair. Among these same people, a much smaller minority agreed that the death penalty is immoral, ranging from 12%-19%. For a more detailed statistical analysis, click here.


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