A recently released Gallup poll shows that support for the death penalty is the lowest that it has been in 40 years. Opposition for the death penalty stands at 35%, and 40% of respondents believe the death penalty is applied unfairly.
A different national poll, conducted in 2010, found only 33% of respondents believed that the death penalty should be the punishment for murder. Over fifty percent of the respondents favored alternative sentences which did not include the death penalty.
How the question is asked matters. When presented with alternative sentencing options, the majority of Americans favor getting rid of the death penalty. Either way, the new poll’s findings demonstrate a national trend away from support for the death penalty.
"It's not a matter of if, but when [the death penalty will be abolished]," NCADP's Diann Rust-Tierney told MSNBC in their recent coverage of the falling public support for the death penalty.