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April 9, 2017

Poll suggests Arkansans generally support state plans for multiple executions in coming weeks

This new local article, headlined "Poll: Arkansans’ support for death penalty unfazed by upcoming execution schedule," reports on a new local poll showing support for the notable execution plans in the works in the Natural State. Here are excerpts from part of the poll and some analysis provided in the article:

Arkansas voters remain firmly committed to the death penalty despite an upcoming quick execution schedule, advances made in DNA testing, and a national trend towards ending the practice. A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey suggests more than 2-to-1 support for the death penalty versus life without parole....

Arkansans are also unfazed by the upcoming rapid execution schedule which involves seven executions over an 11-day period. At the time the poll was conducted, eight inmates were scheduled for execution in the 11-day time span....

As Arkansas’s move to carry out eight (and, following a federal court ruling in recent days, seven) executions via lethal injection moves toward reality at the end of the month, Arkansas is gaining increasing national and international attention as state officials race to beat the expiration deadline for a drug used in the state’s lethal injection formula.

We asked a series of questions about Arkansans’ opinions regarding the death penalty, generally, and this historic number of executions in particular. Arkansans’ unshakeable commitment to the death penalty is shown by the survey results. Most generally, Arkansans solidly support the application of the death penalty with over six in ten respondents favoring the death penalty while fewer than three in ten support life without parole for those convicted of capital offenses....

Finally, we focused on the extraordinary number of executions planned by the state of Arkansas at the end of the April. At the time of our survey, eight executions were planned. At the time of this writing, seven of those executions remain on track (the eighth has been delayed by federal District Judge Price Marshall because of a favorable clemency recommendation by the State Parole Board).

Just at one in four Arkansans are troubled by this aggressive stance while a strong majority of Arkansans either favor this move by the state to ensure the executions are carried out before the drug expiration (51%) or say it makes no difference (17%). While slight majorities of African-Americans and Democrats oppose the mass executions, the most noticeable variance across social groups is shown between men and women. A nearly 20 point gender gap (61% for men versus 42% for women) is shown on support for the late-April series of executions.

All told, this pattern of survey responses on the death penalty shows the breadth and depth of Arkansans support for death as an appropriate punishment in capital cases. While national survey research shows some erosion of support for the death penalty, all signs are that the death penalty will remain in favor in Arkansas for the foreseeable future.

Some prior related posts:

April 9, 2017 at 01:36 PM | Permalink


The real expiration date is likely to be 15 years later than the date printed on the package.

There has never been a valid complaint to the FDA about expired medication. In 1964, an expired antibiotic was reported to have damaged a person's organ. However, that antibiotic is now well known to do that in general.

Prison authorities should read this plain language review of the subject.


Posted by: David Behar | Apr 9, 2017 2:25:14 PM

Local popular support doesn't make it either morally justified or indeed lawful. Multiple executions of this kind mask individual case differences which might otherwise draw greater scrutiny; as an obscene act of state sponsored mass death, akin to mass murder, it must necessarily fall foul of the spirit and letter of the US Constitution which should protect against actions that offend natural decency .... and also recognize and acknowledge the cruel and unusual punishment and the circumstances in which the action is proposed.

Posted by: peter | Apr 10, 2017 3:22:59 AM

Peter. The constitution is totally pro-death penalty. Move on from there.

See my changed view, since I now oppose the death penalty.


As to cruel and unusual, nothing comes close to the most bizarre, painful, humiliating and prolonged ways to go as deaths by natural causes. See any experiences you may have had seeing loved ones pass away. I have proposed wrongful death suits by the estates of condemned prisoners who were dicked around by the system for so long, they died of these horrific natural causes.

Posted by: David Behar | Apr 10, 2017 4:18:04 AM

peter is correct but poll data is used in various directions here, sometimes to show the public is for life without parole etc., so it's fair to cite the numbers.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 10, 2017 11:13:47 AM

Headline says, "Poll suggests Arkansans generally support state plans for multiple executions in coming weeks." A majority of Arkansans also believe, among other things, that the earth is 5,000 years old, that Noah built an Ark, and the animals came in two-by-two, that global warming is a hoax, and that the theory of evolution is nonsensical. So what weight should one give to whatever Arkansans think about the death penalty?

Posted by: James | Apr 11, 2017 6:45:40 PM

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