Facts & Research

New Voices

Individuals from across the political spectrum have voiced growing concerns about the death penalty, questioning not only the morality of capital punishment but whether the government can be trusted to fairly and accurately apply it. Many of these new voices bring new and non-traditional perspectives to the death-penalty debate.

In the 1990s, the Gallup Poll measured support for the death penalty in the United States at 80%. Since then it has fallen into the mid 50%s. The death penalty has long been opposed by human rights and civil rights activists, who question whether capital punishment can be applied fairly and whether the risks of executing innocent people are too great, and by those who consider it morally wrong for the government to take the life of a prisoner who has already been incapacitated by incarceration. But a growing number of non-traditional voices have raised new concerns about the death penalty, questioning its cost, its ineffectiveness in protecting the public and police, the disservice it does to family members of murder victims, its inconsistency with a pro-life ethic and the values of limited government, and whether the money spent on the death penalty could be used more effectively. These new voices represent a variety of perspectives, from judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement veterans to legislators, academics, spiritual leaders, and murder victims’ families.

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