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View Diary: Why The Death Penalty Should Matter to Progressives (298 comments)

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  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, lu3, 4Freedom, Munchkn
    "a mile wide, and an inch deep"
    I have never heard it put better than that, thank you.

    The 60% surprises me because it sounds very low.

    In the UK, where the death penalty was abolished decades ago, public opinion generally runs about 80% in favour of it's return.

    The UK Parliament usually has a free vote on the matter about every ten years. That vote, a combination of the entire political spectrum generally goes 80% the other way.

    MPs always justify their refusal to bow to public opinion by suggesting that we send them to parliament to make "informed decisions".

    They are correct, we do, and they vote down Capital Punishment every time, by a very wide margin.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:15:20 AM PST

    •  That 60%~ (5+ / 0-)

      is the result of a LOT of hard work. If you click on the Gallup link attached to that stat, you will see that we only got to 60% after a long period of decline in support. We are at a low point right now.

      It's only reached this point, in my view, because of three types of situations. First, there's stuff like Illinois, where they suspended the death penalty after the governor learned that during one period, the state had executed 11 people and let 12 people off of death row. That's a batting average under .500. This is a very high profile and powerful way to show the failings of the system.

      Second, there are cases like that of Carla Faye Tucker, who was a highly sympathetic and high-profile death row inmate. She was killed in a highly calloused way - with GWB laughing during her clemency hearing - and she was a born-again Christian.

      Third, all of the reports of us killing people like Rick Ray Rector have changed public opinion. This is the guy who Clinton used politically. He had a VERY low IQ and was famous for not eating his pie with his meal every night. While on death row, he claimed he wanted to save it for the next morning. After his last meal, he neglected to eat his pie, presumably "leaving it for tomorrow." Many believe he couldn't comprehend that he was about to be killed. And some of us have a problem with killing a person who is so mentally retarded that he can't understand you when you say, "Tonight, you will die."

      "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

      by Grizzard on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:24:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Opinion is quite evenly split in the UK (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mindara

      I'm not sure where you're getting that 80% figure from, but I've seen several polls in the past few years that have shown opinion quite evenly split.

      For example there was poll done by YouGov last year that asked 'Would you support the death penalty for killing a police officer' and even for killing a police officer people were narrowly 44-42 against.

      YouGov did a special poll of under-25s and asked the same question. They found young people 61-22 against, so opposition will only grow in years to come.

      If I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists- Manic Street Preachers

      by Liberal Of Limeyland on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:00:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  US Support is really at 80% (0+ / 0-)

      When polls ask about truly death penalty eligible crimes, support is at 80%.

      US Death Penalty Support at 80%; World Support Remains High
      http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/...

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