While more Republicans than Democrats support the death penalty for convicted murderers, the majority of Americans, 55%, are in favor of it, according to the latest Gallup survey on the subject.
While this marks the sixth consecutive year that support for capital punishment is between 54% and 56%, it is below the 60% to 80% readings recorded in the four prior decades between 1976 and 2016, Gallup notes.
Voters' views of the death penalty differ sharply, Gallup notes, with majorities of Republicans (77%) and independents (54%) favoring it, but a majority of Democrats oppose it (63%) and 35% of Democrats are in favor of it.
Since 2000, when Gallup began tracking the measure annually in its crime survey, Republicans' support has been consistently high. Democrats' support for capital punishment has not been at the majority level since 2012 and has varied the most of the three party groups, ranging from 34% to 65% since 2000.
The 55% of Americans who favor the death penalty for convicted murderers has been steady since 2017, Gallup notes, but lower than readings for the 40 years prior to that. The decline since that period is largely owed to Democrats' diminished support for capital punishment, while Republicans' support has remained high, Gallup observes.
The latest findings are from Gallup's Oct. 3-20 poll that was conducted during the trial of the gunman who murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. On Oct. 13, the jury decided on life in prison, disappointing many of the victims' families, according to Gallup.
Gallup interviews a minimum of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, using a dual-frame design, which includes both landline and cellphone numbers.
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