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State Split On Death Penalty

San Francisco, CA — A new poll shows just as many people want to do away with the death penalty as those who want to speed up the process.

A new Field Poll found that 48 percent of voters are in favor of speeding up the execution process.  While another, nearly 47 percent want to do away with the death penalty altogether and replacing it with life-in-prison without the possibility of parole.  This is in contrast to a 2014 poll that revealed 52 percent supported making the process fast as opposed to 40 percent calling for life prison terms.

What to do in regards to the state’s death penalty law divides voters along political, demographic, regional, and religious lines.  Field Poll provides this breakdown of its findings:

• While most Republicans and conservatives prefer taking steps to speed up administration of the law, majorities of registered Democrats, liberals and political independents would rather do away with the death penalty altogether and replace it with life-in-prison without parole.

• While majorities of white non-Hispanics and Asian Americans would rather take steps to speed up the execution process, most Latinos and African Americans back replacing capital punishment with a sentence of life-in-prison without parole.

• While majorities of Protestants and other non-Catholic Christians support efforts to speed up the execution process, most Catholics and voters affiliated with non-Christian religions would rather do away with the death sentence in favor of life-in-prison without parole.

• While voters living in the state’s forty-eight inland counties favor speeding up implementation of the death penalty law, a majority of those living in state’s more populous coastal counties favor the law’s elimination.

• While voters age 50 or older back the idea of speeding up the execution process, more voters under age 50 favor replacing the death penalty with life-in-prison without parole.

Since voters restored the death penalty in 1978, about 900 inmates have been sentenced to death, with the punishment carried out on 13 inmates, and none in the past decade.