A Crisis of Confidence: Americans’ Doubts About the Death Penalty - MEDIA COVERAGE REPORT

A Crisis of Confidence: Americans’ Doubts About the Death Penalty — MEDIA COVERAGE REPORT

On June 9, 2007 the Death Penalty Information Center released its new report, “A Crisis of Confidence: Americans’ Doubts About the Death Penalty.” The report, based on results from DPIC’s national public opinion poll, received extensive national media coverage in major papers and electronic media. In addition, the report was discussed extensively on more than 25 Internet blogs, including many online criminal justice groups. Among the news organizations that featured this story were the following:

  • New York Times, “Court Ruling Expected to Spur Convictions in Capital Cases,” by Adam Liptak, Page 1A, June 9, 2007.
  • New York Times News Wire, “Court Ruling Expected to Spur Convictions in Capital Cases,” by Adam Liptak, June 9, 2007.
  • Newsweek, “Poll: Americans Want Death Penalty Moratorium: Growing Concerns About Making Sure the Innocent Aren’t Sentenced to Death Has Caused More Americans to Support a Moratorium on the Death Penalty,” by Kurt Soller, Web Exclusive, June 15, 2007.
  • U.S. News & World Report, “Mixed Views on the Death Penalty,” by Chris Wilson, June 12, 2007.
  • Reuters News Service, “Majority of Americans Favor Death Penalty,” by Deborah Charles, June 9, 2007. Also distributed to thousands of Reuters affiliates throughout the nation and around the world.
  • Agence France Press News Wire, “US Confidence in Capital Punishment Eroding: Study,” June 9, 2007.
  • CBS News Radio, National News Broadcast, June 9, 2007. Also distributed to CBS News affiliated radio stations throughout the nation.
  • CNN Radio, National News Broadcast, June 9, 2007.
  • Boston Globe, “Stacking Juries Toward Death,” Editorial, June 10, 2007.
  • Columbus Dispatch, “Survey of Americans: Support for Death Penalty Waning,” by Alan Johnson, June 10, 2007.
  • Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Poll: Death Penalty Losing Support,” by Max B. Baker, June 10, 2007.
  • Honolulu Star Bulletin, “Evidence of Death Penalty as Crime Deterrent is Flimsy,” Editorial June 12, 2007.
  • Los Angeles Daily News, “Court Ruling Expected to Spur Convictions in Capital Cases,” by Adam Liptak, New York Times News Wire, June 9, 2007.
  • New York Daily News, “Death Penalty Doubts Grow,” by Adam Nichols, June 10, 2007.
  • Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “Court Ruling Expected to Spur Convictions in Capital Cases,” by Adam Liptak, New York Times News Wire, June 9, 2007.
  • The Ledger (Florida), “Court Ruling Expected to Spur Convictions in Capital Cases,” by Adam Liptak, New York Times News Wire, June 9, 2007.
  • AOL News, “Majority of Americans Favor Death Penalty,” by Deborah Charles, June 9, 2007.
  • U.S. Raw Story, “US Confidence in Capital Punishment Eroding: Study,” AFP News Wire, June 9, 2007. This Web news site is frequented by journalists tracking national news developments.

“Even before Monday’s decision, a significant minority of Americans were ineligible to serve as jurors in death penalty cases. According to a poll to be released today by the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit group in Washington that is critical of the death penalty as currently applied, 39 percent of Americans say they have a moral objection to the death penalty that would disqualify them from serving in a capital case. The poll’s margin of sampling error was plus or minus three percentage points.”

- New York Times, “Court Ruling Expected to Spur Convictions inCapital Cases,” by Adam Liptak, Page 1A, June 9, 2007.

Even though most Americans support the death penalty, there’s rising concern about how the state’s ultimate punishment is levied. A new poll by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that provides analysis on capital punishment, found that 58 percent want a national moratorium on executions. In 2006, there were fewer executions than in any year since the death penalty was reinstated over 30 years ago. NEWSWEEK’s Kurt Soller spoke with the director of the center, Richard Dieter, about the current state of capital punishment in America.”

- Newsweek, “Poll: Americans Want Death Penalty Moratorium: Growing Concerns About Making Sure the Innocent Aren’t Sentenced to Death Has Caused More Americans to Support a Moratorium on the Death Penalty,” by Kurt Soller, Web Exclusive, June 15, 2007.

“For a long time, the contentious issue of deterrence—whether the threat of capital punishment prevented homicides—was at the center of the debate, serving as a core justification for proponents. Meanwhile, the opposition cited a mounting body of evidence that debunked the claim. New data this week is not likely to do much to clear things up. A poll from the Death Penalty Information Center, a clearinghouse for data on executions and public opinion on capital punishment, found that only 38 percent of respondents believed that the death penalty deters would-be murderers. The poll, conducted in March, surveyed 1,000 adults and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.”

- U.S. News & World Report, “Mixed Views on the Death Penalty,” by Chris Wilson, June 12, 2007.

“The poll also showed about 87 percent believe an innocent person has been executed in the last 15 years, and 58 percent think there should be a moratorium on executions while wrongful convictions and wrongful death sentences are investigated. ‘This is … a confirmation of how powerful these cases of innocence have been about using the death penalty presently and in the future. It shows a distancing by the American public from the death penalty,’ said Dieter.”

- Reuters News Service, “Majority of Americans Favor Death Penalty,” by Deborah Charles, June 9, 2007. Also distributed to thousands of Reuters affiliates throughout the nation and around the world.

“The poll also showed about 87 percent believe an innocent person has been executed in the last 15 years, and 58 percent think there should be a moratorium on executions while wrongful convictions and wrongful death sentences are investigated. ‘This is … a confirmation of how powerful these cases of innocence have been about using the death penalty presently and in the future. It shows a distancing by the American public from the death penalty,’ said Dieter.”

- Reuters News Service, “Majority of Americans Favor Death Penalty,” by Deborah Charles, June 9, 2007. Also distributed to thousands of Reuters affiliates throughout the nation and around the world.