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May 28, 2009

Poll indicates Connecticut voters still strongly support death penalty

This article from the Hartford Courant shows that the people of the Nutmeg State are bigger fans of the death penalty than are the state's legislators, who passed a bill last week to repeal capital punishment in Connecticut: 

By a two to one margin, Connecticut voters once again say the state should keep the death penalty. A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning found that 61 percent support the death penalty, while 34 percent believe it should be replaced with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The survey of 1,575 registered voters comes on the heels of a historic vote in the legislature to repeal capital punishment in the state. Gov. M. Jodi Rell has vowed to veto the measure. The latest poll is consistent with previous surveys that showed a similar level of support for capital punishment.

And that support holds across party lines: 77 percent of Republicans favor the death penalty as do 50 percent of Democrats and 64 percent unaffiliated voters. "While the Democratically-controlled state legislature passed the bill to eliminate the death penalty, our poll found that Democrats support keeping the death penalty," Doug Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a statement announcing the results.

By a 68 to 28 percent margin, men want to keep the death penalty, compared with a 55 to 39 percent margin among women.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 23 percent of Connecticut voters who support the death penalty cited "retribution and or fair punishment" as their primary reason, while 22 percent said the death penalty is needed for "severe or heinous crimes," the poll found.

Among those opposed to the death penalty, 23 percent said their belief is rooted in the conviction that "no one has the right to take a human life.'' Fifteen percent cited "the fear of executing an innocent person." Both of those arguments were listed again and again over the past month, as lawmakers debated abolishing the death penalty.

May 28, 2009 at 08:28 AM | Permalink


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The rent seeking, criminal lover lawyer running the three branches is taking 100's of innocent lives a year in Connecticut. The are called the V word.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 28, 2009 9:21:40 AM

The passage by a legislature of a bill opposed by 2/3 of the people is an indicator that something is seriously malfunctioning in the democratic process.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | May 28, 2009 10:50:45 AM

Interestingly, the financial reason is as dominant as any other reason.

Costs too much to keep in prison/Financial burden 23%

Posted by: George | May 28, 2009 12:31:09 PM


This is one of the many areas of political life where the minority is far more motivated to enact change than the majority is to maintain the status quo. That motivation gives them a significant edge, especially if a large block of voters are single issue.

Look at New Mexico for an example of this, where Richardson signed the death penalty abolition bill despite similar polling numbers.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | May 28, 2009 2:08:44 PM

Soronel, that is true, but it does not make it right.

In most states (and I admit I don't know about Connecticut), there is more at work. One of the worst innovations in recent times has been the incumbent-protection gerrymander, where all districts are intentionally skewed to tilt heavily to one party or the other. This makes the primary the real election, and incumbents almost always win primaries. It also gives the fringes of both parties more clout than they should have, with moderates and independents having less.

Thank God and Hiram Johnson that California has the initiative.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | May 28, 2009 2:20:25 PM

The owners have had their chattel, the law, criminally converted by rent seeking law technicians. There is full moral and intellectual justification for retrieval in self-help. If the weasels will not let go of it, direct action groups should just do what it takes to get it back.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 29, 2009 8:06:03 AM

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