National support for death penalty at 40-year low


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  • Turtles Run Houston, TX
    Jan. 7, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    Strider303 wrote: "Have innocent people been executed? Yes. Is life perfect or fair? No."

    So you have no issue with innocent people being executed. How is that different from murder? That is the issue with the death penalty. That no matter what there is always the possibility that an innocent person can be killed. Proponents vehemently deny that this has occurred in the modern era (despite evidence proving otherwise). But there are a few that just do not care as demonstrated by the flippant comment about the innocent being killed.

    The death penalty does nothing to prevent additional killings, it is more expensive because of the safeguards within the system, and the judicial system has proven that race plays a major role in who is executed.

    Killing is never justified.

  • BASavage Orem, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:44 p.m.

    This is an interesting article. I've been around some defense attorney's and they find it hard to let some one die for their despicable crimes because they grow emotionally attached to their clients, seems the defense lawyer quoted in this article has the same issue.

    As cost seems the most quoted reason for eliminating capital punishment. The states have brought it upon themselves for allowing mandatory appeals and switching to "less scary" but much less expensive forms of execution, ie hanging, electrocution and firing squad (Utah), in favor of lethal injections.

    It will be a very sad day (as we are seeing with this every so increasingly politically correct world) that if the Supreme court where to over turn a decision that over turned another decision we would see a spike in gruesome murders like we saw in Ogden at the HiFi Shop in April, 1974 less than two years after SCOTUS ruled Capital Punishment unconstitutional because it violated the 8th amendment clause of "cruel and unusual". Well many murders kill in a most cruel and unusual fashion, so why do these people get a break when their victims blood cries out for justice!

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:22 p.m.


    So you are asking us to believe they walked into court with no evidance and got sentences overturned? Not only is that a large leap you ask us to take it is blatantly false.

    Anyone that would care to see the evidance presented is welcome to go to the innocence project website where they source the DNA and other evidence used in trail to get convictions overturned. Please do not take this person at face value.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    Re: ". . . do you have any evidence that counters the evidence presented by those 'liberal academics?'"

    That's my point. They've presented no evidence, whatever. They merely obtain a reversal -- often not even on all charges -- then start bleating about the success of their "innocence" project.

    They present no proof whatever of factual innocence, beyond the unethical claims of their disingenuous fundraising pitch.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 6:07 p.m.


    simply claiming "it never happened" and your own claims of antidotal experience of "it almost never happening" does not make your claims true, do you have any evidence that counters the evidence presented by those "liberal academics?'

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 6:03 p.m.

    Some of you claim we should be like European countries and do away with the death penalty just because they have. But I just found an article showing 5 murderers who were given life sentences but were released for "good behavior" killed again, a couple just weeks after being released.

    I was not allowed to give the url, but you can find it by googling murderers released murdering again.

    Just because another liberally-minded country does something, doesn't mean it's wise to follow. What do you say to a family whose child is raped and murdered by a convicted murderer who was set free after a "life" sentence?

    Great Britain has done away with the death penalty, has made it illegal to defend one's home against home invasion with deadly force for the most part, and their violent crimes are now 4 times what they are in the U.S. We don't need to allow ourselves to degenerate to that level just "because Great Britain is doing it."

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Jan. 6, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    Maybe some of those who say the don't support the death penalty say so because they have simply given up. I wonder how the poll number would look if death sentences were actually being carried out?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    Re: "I am opposed to the death penalty in part due to the large number of death row prisoners who have been proven innocent . . . [n]ot just 'innocent on a mere technicality' . . . but factually innocent."

    It has never happened.

    The fact that an item of evidence may be thrown out, or a witness bullied into recanting, that evidence was corruptly and illegally suppressed, or even that a judge may apologize to a miscreant, does NOT establish factual innocence.

    Remember who these pro-crime liberals and academics are, and that financial contributions to their political "cause" and very livelihood, depend largely on their disingenuous propaganda.

    Take it from a longtime criminal trial attorney, one who has defended more than twice as many cases as he has prosecuted -- almost no defendants are wrongly convicted. Of those, only a tiny, tiny fraction are "factually innocent" of the crime they were convicted of, though most are not totally innocent.

    Those handful in a century that are truly innocent -- along with many, many who are guilty -- are always pardoned, released, retried, or somehow saved, often by their guilt-ridden prosecutors.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 3:38 p.m.


    Crime rates including murder are at bear historic lows and lower then they have been in nearly 40 years. The world isn not ending because of less executions.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    Dear Strider 303: It is my understanding that there has never been a documented case of an innocent person being executed in the U.S. That doesn't mean it has never happened, of course. But, I don't believe there are any documented cases.

  • tgurd Gonzales, LA
    Jan. 6, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    ahhhh Let me see I would like to see who was polled and what the % for and against were. I would pose a question since I was born during the time the death penalty was quite active. Since its been outlawed there are more killings than ever, granted one has to be careful, because of some that died innocent. However with DNA and other improved means of finding the culprits I would say reinstate the death penalty and watch things change. The cost to have people locked up is astronomrical. When I talk death penalty iam talking hard core killers not accidental deaths and those that are questionable I am talking a lot of the murders that are going on now.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 6, 2014 12:21 p.m.


    Not every child will be innocent - obviously. Every child is currently innocent before they are born. You really want to use that as an argument? You are in favor of killing a fetus because it 'might' become a criminal? Your reasoning is not only shocking, but rather strange.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    I don't need some human sacrifice to feel good about myself. If some murderer is making my life miserable, I will look to change myself and not the things I can't control.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    Jan. 6, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Leave Death in God's hands. The Government is too evil and corrupt to be the arbiter of life and death.

  • quickmatch Oak Park, IL
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    The abortion/death penalty argument of several comments hinges on an assumed dissimilarity between the innocence of the unborn and the culpability of the murderer. I see two problems.
    The first is a secular one: it is given that the unborn are of necessity innocent and the murderer guilty; how does one assure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the individual accused of murder is guilty? I have read dozens of cases in which individuals awaiting execution were exonerated--and cases where the exoneration was proved after the execution. Taking the life of an innocent person is abhorrent and the state must be barred from making that mistake; abandonment of the death penalty is the only certain bar.
    The second problem is religious: there is no certainty, other than the mystic of religious belief, that the unborn have souls or when they attain souls. Nor is there any certainty of innocence or guilt of any individual—that certainty lies with God alone. The usurpation of the determination of innocence is an act of hubris, a sin against God.

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    I fully support the death penalty - as a matter of justice, not as a matter of deterrance or revenge.

    Pagan, come on girl, give it up. Your comparison is so weak.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    There is a HUGE difference in killing an innocent fetus and killing a person so evil and so vile that they cannot be helped.'

    So, EVERY child born will be 'innocent'?

    I'm sure people thought that about many of the murderers out there. Hitler, Stalin, etc.

    You cannot predict the action of every child born.

    As such your claims of 'innocent' children is moot.

    As a peson on death row is part of this 'sanctity' of life that many how, are willing to kill.

    With a death penalty.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    I have a hard time understanding how some of you can be so passionate about the sanctity of a criminal's life and have no reservations about taking the life of an unborn child. All life is sacred...even the "inconvenient" ones.

    And, a couple of you have tried to subtly infuse this discussion with an anti-gun message. Huh?

    My own view is that we are doing a lousy job of administering justice overall. If we are prone to error (executing an innocent person or not executing a guilty person), and if the process of getting a prisoner to execution is more costly than imprisoning them for life, without parole, then we ought to eliminate the death penalty. I'd rather see many murderers receive less punishment than they deserve than see one innocent person executed.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 6, 2014 9:05 a.m.


    There is a HUGE difference in killing an innocent fetus and killing a person so evil and so vile that they cannot be helped. How do you not see the difference?

    Open Minded Mormon

    how can you be christian and for the death penalty? Christians have killed many people in the name of religion - and innocent people have been killed as well. Heck, Laban was killed by Nephi (Book of Mormon) for no reason at all. God wiped out whole cities in the bible because the people are evil. So... I don't see your point.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    I am opposed to the death penalty in part due to the large number of death row prisoners who have been proven innocent by DNA analysis and other reviews. Not just "innocent on a meretechnicality" (although I, for one, don't consider the US Constitution and Bill of Rights to be mere technicalities), but factually innocent. If we absolutely must have a death penalty, I would change the standard of proof from "beyond a reasonable doubt" to "beyond any possible doubt".

    In the meantime, we find ourselves with distinguished company in maintaining the death penalty, sharing it with countries such as North Korea, Iran and Uganda, the latter having just sustained its death penalty for homosexuality. It's no wonder much of the free world looks upon us a barbarians who live where the State kills people and everyone needs to be armed to survive.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Eden, UT

    Great point!
    I've read the same thing as well.
    and let's not forget North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and Cuba.

    I think we are on the wrong side in this debate.

    From a religous stand point,
    I can't understand how can any Christian be FOR death penalties,
    when they are reminded weeking that Jesus was innocently crucified.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    I do support the death penalty in certain instances. Ted Bundy was the perfect example. I do believe it is a silly argument that the death penalty deters crime. The United States has a horrendous murder rate compared to other countries where homicides are rare such as Canada which has no capital punishment. Criminals rarely consider the consequences of their actions. That is why they are criminals.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    "I felt like I had another human being's life in my hands. If I didn't do my job, I would be part of the reason he was killed."

    IMHO lawyers, and some judges, see the court as a stage and their "job" an act. The reason Allgier was on trial was for murdering a correction officer and attempting escape. The reason for the death penalty was his, Allgier's, act not the performance of a lawyer.

    Have innocent people been executed? Yes. Is life perfect or fair? No.

    I object to the legal community using the court and the law to further their Quixotic quest for their own personal brand of justice or fairness at public expense.

    I can see life without parole, as defined as life in prison without ever leaving the prison, except in a pine box. That is life without parole.

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Jan. 6, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    The Death Penalty is a barbarous vestige of a bygone era. It is way past time that this practice should be ended. Hopefully the Supreme Court will eventually view it as cruel and unusual punishment and declare it unconstitutional. Although largely only used in exceptional murder cases in some states, it is still an affront to our humanity and should be ended. There is no argument that can justify this practice in modern society. Our common humanity cannot support revenge or vengeance as basis for it. How can we ask or require individuals to carry out this sentence?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 7:25 a.m.

    I support the death penalty for some crimes, but I think it needs to be applied very carefully. And...there is no comparison between the death penalty and abortion.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 6, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    Support for the death penalty is reducing. Support for same sex marriages is increasing. The economy is improving. This is great news for America. So much for all of the chicken little's running around screaming the sky is falling. Well, I guess when you have no plan (GOP) except to rail against the president and do nothing, fear mongering is the only fallback strategy.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    This is the list of countries that still use the death penalty: Chine #1., Iraq #2., Yemen #3., Iran #4., and the United States at #5. the Congo is #6. Are we in good company?
    Those countries that don't use the death penalty: England, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Norway, etc. Which group of countries is most like us? All of the European Union does not use the death penalty. If our crime rate was lower, I could understand, but it is not lower. It is much higher than all of the countries listed that do not use the death penalty.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 6, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    I for retribution. I want to have the future to be better. If some one has the right yo kill me shouldn't I have that same right. What is war about.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Jan. 6, 2014 2:46 a.m.


    Sure you can. It isn't a double standard. Abortion kills a perfectly innocent life. A murderer isn't innocent and has forfeited the right to his own life when he takes another.

    It makes perfect sense.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 11:55 p.m.

    Support for the death penalty is down, it is still at 60%. When a political candidate wins by 60% it's usually considered a political landslide.

    Opponents of the death penalty usually point to the cost. This argument is weak for at least two reasons. First, it's the attorneys and judges allowing appeals to go on for ever that push the cost up. Secondly, who is to say, if the death penalty were to be abolished, that life in prison without parole, as the harshest punishment, would not be appealed "until the cows come home?" The reason it's not appealed as much now is because many vicious killers settle for life without parole rather than appealing, because they realize, if they don't settle, they could receive the death penalty. If the death penalty is taken off the table, those sentenced to life without parole, who are settling for it now, will continue to appeal.

    It is not inconsistent to be anti-abortion and pro death penalty. Abortion kills the innocent. The death penalty kills heinous murderers. Apply the death penalty only in cases where proof of guilt is conclusive e.g. mass murder with plenty of witnesses.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 11:00 p.m.

    You cannot claim to be against abortion due to the 'sanctity of life'…

    while at the same time, be in support of factually ending life, in support of the death penalty.

    Well, not if you wish to avoid having a double standard.

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 8:05 p.m.

    Normally I'm pro-death penalty. But our judicial system is so incompetent, inept and swamped by "legal gamesmanship" that guilt versus innocence means less than ever. The odds of putting innocent people to death is probably higher now than at any time in the last century. Until and unless we can fix this problem, I have great misgivings about executing, unless the factual guilt of the person is beyond refute.