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Americans Weigh In On Lethal Injections

A new poll measures support for the death penalty in the wake of a botched execution
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Here are some of the results of a poll of 800 registered voters conducted for NBC News between May 7 and 10. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46%.

  • Of those who favor the death penalty, 37% say life without parole would actually be a worse punishment.
  • While 64% of whites favor the death penalty, 58% of blacks oppose it.
  • Only 18% of Republicans are against the death penalty, compared to half of Democrats.
  • Having a family member who has been in prison or on probation did not make a respondent more likely to oppose or support the death penalty.
  • Just 6% of people think a deterrent effect is the strong argument for execution, while 14% cite cost-effectiveness.
  • One-fourth of people who oppose execution say the main reason is it's against their religious beliefs.
  • Seven out of 10 death penalty opponents say lethal injection should be the only option, as opposed to 11% of execution proponents.
  • Forty percent of Catholics say they're against capital punishment, double the number of evangelical or fundamentalist Christians.