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Global Support for the Death Penalty

NCJ Number
Punishment and Society Volume: 12 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2010 Pages: 463-484
James Unnever
Date Published
October 2010
22 pages
This study examined, on a global basis which individuals may be the most supportive of capital punishment and other punitive policies and those who may facilitate political and judicial leaders as they move toward abolition.
The recently released Gallup International 2000 Millennium Survey Poll collected data from individuals residing in 59 countries. The focus of this research was to analyze these data to examine whether the abolition movement has ushered in a new 'collective sensibility' about the death penalty or whether global attitudes toward capital punishment are characterized by deep divisions. The research assumes that the long-term stability of abolition will be assured when the vast majority of the citizens of the world oppose the use of the death penalty. The findings reveal that there are deep cleavages in worldwide support for capital punishment. The article highlights five divides in support for capital punishment and then separately discusses the results from the human rights and minority group threat analyzes. (Published Abstract) Tables, notes, and references