Half of Americans Think Death Penalty Is Applied Unfairly


Gallup found in its latest poll about capital punishment that 50% of Americans think the death penalty in the U.S. is applied unfairly.

This is the first time since Gallup started asking the question more than 20 years ago that more Americans say the death penalty is applied unfairly (50%) than fairly (47%).

The proportion of Americans who think capital punishment is applied fairly plunged to a record low, while the percentage of Americans who think the death penalty is applied unfairly rose 5% since 2018.

Gallup’s annual crime survey, conducted in October, also showed that Americans’ support for the death penalty sank to its lowest level since 1972, with only 53% in support.

That’s a substantial decline since 1994, when support for capital punishment peaked at 80% of respondents.

Death sentences and executions have declined in recent years, even as the death penalty continues to be used disproportionately in outlier states like Alabama.