Nearly Two-Thirds of Voters Support Capital Punishment
Raleigh, N.C. – With a NC Supreme Court ruling earlier this month clearing the legal impediments to the resumption of capital punishment in North Carolina, a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute shows public support for the death penalty remains strong.
A 600 sample live caller poll of voters asked if they supported the death penalty in North Carolina. Sixty-four percent said yes. Only 28 percent said they opposed. Eight percent said they were unsure.
“North Carolinians remain in strong support of capital punishment as an appropriate penalty,” said Civitas Institute Executive Director Francis De Luca. “Supporters of the de facto moratorium that has been in place due to court challenges, which have now been resolved, face a public that now supports the death penalty slightly more than last year.”
The Civitas Institute polled this identical question just over one year ago in April 2008. In that poll, 60 percent said they supported the death penalty, while 27 percent said they were in opposition.
Opinion on the death penalty is highly polarized along racial makeup. Among Caucasian voters, 70 percent said they support it, while 21 percent said they oppose. However, among African-Americans, only 37 percent said they support the death penalty, while 54 percent said they are in opposition.
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues and policies facing North Carolina.
Full text of question:
Do you support the death penalty in North Carolina?
Yes – 64%
No – 28%
Not Sure – 8%
The study of 600 registered voters was conducted May 18-21, 2009 by Tel Opinion Research of Arlington, Virginia. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters we interviewed had to have voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that:95% of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” “True Values” refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.