Delaware residents support death penalty unless given alternative

By Andrew V. Pestano

DOVER, Del., April 21 (UPI) -- A recent poll found that 63 percent of people in Delaware initially support the death penalty, but its support decreases when alternatives are given.

About 34 percent of people polled either strongly opposed or somewhat opposed the death penalty, but a follow up question found that people favor life imprisonment over the death penalty.


"A significant majority of Delaware residents, 64 percent, support some form of life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty," Eugene Young, advocacy director at the Delaware Center for Justice, said.

Young said support for capital punishment decreases when alternatives are given.

The Public Policy Polling firm was hired by the Delaware Center for Justice, one of several groups attempting to cease the death penalty in the state. Legislators are currently debating a bill that would repeal capital punishment.

The bill passed the state's Senate earlier this month and now faces voting in the House.

The poll asked 17 questions to 573 Delawareans on the phone between over a two-day period in April.

It is the first time the Delaware Center for Justice conducted a poll on the death penalty.


"This issue has lingered in the ether for far too long," Democratic Rep. Sean Lynn said. "The death penalty is morally bankrupt, legally bankrupt and it is intellectually bankrupt."

Support for the death penalty in the United States has reached a 40-year low -- with 56 percent of people favoring the death penalty for murder convictions and 38 percent opposing, according to Pew Research Center.

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