55% of Americans Agree with Death Penalty for Convicted Murderers

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An Oct. 2022 Gallup poll found 55% of Americans supported capital punishment for convicted murderers, a percentage that has consistently remained between 54% and 56% since 2017.

The poll numbers echo those of 1936, the first time Gallup asked the question, when 59% of American adults supported the death penalty for convicted murderers.

The support is partisan, however. 77% of Republicans and 54% of Independents agreed with the death penalty, while only 35% of Democrats supported the punishment. And, while Republicans and Independents have consistently supported capital punishment over the years, Democrat support has steadily declined.

In the United States, 24 states and the federal government have the death penalty, 23 states and DC have abolished the death penalty, and 3 states have a moratorium on the death penalty.

Discussion Questions

1. Should the death penalty be legal? Why or why not?

2. Should states determine the legality of the death penalty? Or should the federal government? Explain your answer(s).

3. Is life without parole an appropriate substitute for the death penalty? Explain your answer(s).


Megan Brenan, “Steady 55% of Americans Support Death Penalty for Murderers,” news.gallup.com, Nov. 14, 2022