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Old 06-11-2014, 05:13 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Support for the death penalty is falling.

The death penalty is still favored by a good majority in the country, with 61% favoring it when no alternative is offered. That's down, however, from 80% from ~20 years ago.

When "life without parole" is offered as an alternative, however, it loses -- 42% to 52%. A record.

It's possible that it's just a "negative bump" from the recent botched execution, but trends have been going that direction for a couple decades now.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...death-penalty/

New Low in Preference for the Death Penalty
By Damla Ergun
Jun 5, 2014 7:00am

A majority of Americans favor life imprisonment without parole over the death penalty for convicted murderers, a first in ABC News/Washington Post polls.

Given a choice between the two options, 52 percent pick life in prison as the preferred punishment, while 42 percent favor the death penalty – the fewest in polls dating back 15 years. The result follows a botched execution by lethal injection in Oklahoma in late April.

Without an alternative offered, 61 percent continue to support the death penalty, matching 2007 as the fewest in polls back to the early 1980s. That’s down sharply from 80 percent in 1994.

Clearly there’s remaining ambivalence; when offered the option of life imprisonment with no chance of parole, 29 percent of death penalty supporters prefer the alternative.

INJECTIONS – Another result finds that most supporters of capital punishment hold that position even if lethal injections became unavailable or were outlawed. Just 16 percent of death penalty supporters say either of those would constitute grounds for doing away with capital punishment; eight in 10 would shift to another method, e.g., the electric chair or gas chamber.

Lethal injections have come under scrutiny, on issues including the unavailability of customarily used drugs, following the 43-minute botched execution of inmate Clayton D. Lockett in Oklahoma. A new law in Tennessee allows for electrocution if lethal drugs are not available.

Support for the death penalty is higher in the 32 states that have it, 64 percent, vs. 54 percent elsewhere. In a wider gap, people in death-penalty states divide about evenly in their preference for capital punishment vs. life without parole, while in other states life imprisonment is preferred by a 20-point margin.

This survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, measures views on the death penalty in general. Previous polling has shown that attitudes on capital punishment can vary widely depending on the nature and circumstances of the crime.

GROUPS – Views on capital punishment range among groups. Fifty-six percent of women support the death penalty, rising to 66 percent of men. And women prefer life in prison to the death penalty by 57-37 percent, while men are evenly divided.

There’s also a vast gap by race; whites are more likely than nonwhites to support the death penalty, and to prefer it over life in prison, by 23- and 22-point margins. The gaps are widest comparing whites to blacks, a group that’s generally skeptical of the criminal justice system. Their support for the death penalty is lower than that of any other group.

Among other groups, support for the death penalty peaks among evangelical white Protestants and Republicans, at eight in 10 each, dropping to 47 percent among Democrats. It’s 20 points higher among conservatives than liberals.

Preference for capital punishment over life in prison follows similar patterns, peaking at 65 percent among evangelical white Protestants (vs. 36 percent of their non-evangelical counterparts). It’s 30 points higher among Republicans than Democrats, and 25 points higher among conservatives than liberals.

In terms of change, preference for the death penalty vs. life in prison is down by 8 points since 2006, with the most pronounced drops (by 10 to 20 points) among non-evangelical white Protestants, seniors, nonwhites, less-educated adults, liberals and independents.

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone May 29-June 1, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including design effect.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:44 PM   #136
Pitt Gorilla Pitt Gorilla is offline
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Alabama man off death row after 28 years
Anthony Ray Hinton, 58, spent half his life on Alabama’s death row, sentenced to die for two 1985 murders that for decades he insisted he did not commit.

Over 28 years, the outside world changed while Hinton spent his days largely in a 5ft by 8ft prison cell. Children grew up. His mother died. His hair turned gray. Inmates he knew were escorted off to the electric chair or the lethal-injection gurney.

He was set free on Friday after new ballistics tests contradicted the only evidence – an analysis of crime-scene bullets – that connected Hinton to the slayings.

As he left the jail, Hinton said he would pray for the victims’ families as he has done for the past 30 years. They have suffered a “miscarriage of justice” as well, he said. He had less kind words for those involved in his conviction.

“When you think you are high and mighty and you are above the law, you don’t have to answer to nobody. But I got news for them, everybody who played a part in sending me to death row, you will answer to God,” Hinton said.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Hinton is the 152nd person exonerated from death row since 1973 and the sixth in Alabama.

Equal Justice Initiative director Bryan Stevenson, who waged a 16-year fight for Hinton’s release, said while the day was joyous, the case was tragic.

Not only did he lose his life, he lived a life in solitary confinement on death row, condemned in a five-by-eight cell where the state was trying to kill him every day,” Stevenson said.

Hinton was convicted of killing two fast-food restaurant workers – John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vason – during separate 1985 robberies at Mrs Winner’s and Captain D’s restaurants in Birmingham. Investigators became interested in him after a survivor at a third restaurant robbery picked Hinton out of a photo lineup.

The only evidence linking him to the slayings were bullets that state experts then said had markings that matched a .38-caliber revolver that belonged to Hinton’s mother. There were no fingerprints or eyewitness testimony.

The Jefferson County district attorney’s office on Wednesday moved to drop the case after their forensics experts were unable to match crime-scene bullets to the gun.

Stevenson called Hinton’s conviction a “case study” in what is wrong with the American justice system.

“We have a system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent and this case proves it. We have a system that is compromised by racial bias and this case proves it. We have a system that doesn’t do the right thing when the right thing is apparent,” Stevenson said.

“Prosecutors should have done this testing years ago.”
Why would the bullets no longer match the gun? Was someone lying the first time around?
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:46 PM   #137
GloucesterChief GloucesterChief is online now
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Originally Posted by Pitt Gorilla View Post
Why would the bullets no longer match the gun? Was someone lying the first time around?
Sounds like they didn't even test the first time around. Just that his mother had a .38 caliber, they found .38 caliber bullets, and that someone picked him out of a line up.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:47 PM   #138
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What are you even arguing? Where in the story did it mention "malfeasance"?
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:47 PM   #139
Pitt Gorilla Pitt Gorilla is offline
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Originally Posted by GloucesterChief View Post
Sounds like they didn't even test the first time around. Just that his mother had a .38 caliber, they found .38 caliber bullets, and that someone picked him out of a line up.
It's difficult to imagine that they'd convict based on that.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:10 PM   #140
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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In a just world Mr. Hinton should have a huge personal liability judgements coming his way against the police department, forensics lab, and Prosecutor.

I would go as far as saying that if the Prosecutor is dead then the beneficiaries of their estate should be liable.

Basically make the civil penalty for railroading someone something that will bankrupt your family even if you die.

Um...Mr. Constitution...that seems a bit...crazy ass insane.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:13 PM   #141
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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That is why I prefaced it as in a just world.
In a just world, children are liable for the acts of their parents?
Do we go to brothers, sisters, cousins, as well?
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