Poll Reveals Kentuckians Strongly Prefer Lengthy Prison Sentences Over Death Penalty

New polling results released by the University of Kentucky Survey Center reveal that Kentuckians overwhelmingly choose alternatives over the death penalty as the most appropriate punishment for those convicted of aggravated murder. When asked to select the most appropriate sentencing option from choices currently available to Kentucky jurors serving in capital murder trials, 67% selected sentences other than the death penalty. The first choice among respondents was life without parole.

The poll found that while only 30.5% of those polled selected the death penalty, 36.2% chose life without parole, 10.3% selected life with the possibility of parole in 25 years, 5.6% selected life with the possibility of parole in 20 years, and 15.5% chose a 20-50 year prison terms.  Since 1997, support for alternatives to the death penalty in Kentucky has steadily increased from 38% in 1997 to over 67% this year.

("Abolition Now," Newsletter of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, December 2006). See Public Opinion, Life Without Parole, and DPIC's 2006 Year End Report (PDF).