DPS over time has fluxuated; support for capital punishment has increased,
plateaued, and is now slowly decreasing.
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that a
majority (66%) of Americans still support the death penalty; while 26% oppose capital
punishment (Jones, 2000).
Within thirty years, the death penalty was abolished in West
Germany, Britain, France, and Canada (Ellsworth and Gross, 1994).
In September of
1994, DPS reached a peak of 80% in favor of capital punishment.
The gap has been
declined to a 66% of those in favor of the death penalty in as recent as June of 2000
Socio-demographic correlates of death penalty support
The respondents’ age, sex, race, socio-economic status, region, and religion all
have an effect DPS.
Men favor the death penalty more than women tend to, white
respondents more than black respondents, republicans more than democrats, and the
middle-class more than the poor.
Also, surbabanites have more DPS than those living in
the city or rural areas (Ellsworth and Gross, 1994).
Explanations DPS variations by gender and political orientation
Explanations of support for capital punishment can be explained by gender,
political orientation, and symbolism.
Because women are found to be more religious
than men, their Christian ideologies of forgiveness lower support for the death penalty.
Racial prejudice from women is nominal; therefore, it has very little effect on women’s