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"There is a growing recognition that the death penalty simply can't work. Its a complex system that arbitrarily selects defendants for death and creates more stress and appeals, even as it is plagued by serious error. Each new exoneration reminds us of the unacceptable possibility of wrongful execution. Its no wonder that this poll shows people moving away from it."


Senator Robert Martin (R-Morris)
commenting on an April 2005 Rutgers Bloustein Center for Survey Research poll on the death penalty


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Public Opinion

  • Rutgers Bloustein Center for Survey Research

    Nearly half of all New Jersey residents prefer life in prison without the possibility of parole as the penalty for murder, with only one third choosing capital punishment, according to an April 2005 public opinion survey by the Bloustein Center for Survey Research at Rutgers University. Support for the death penalty declines even further - to less 30% - when respondents are given the choice between the death penalty and life without parole, plus payment of restitution to the families of murder victims. Significantly, the survey also reveals that almost all New Jerseyans believe that innocent people are sometimes convicted of muder, and that, when they consider the high cost of prosecuting death penalty cases, 66% of respondents prefer that the money instead be spent on crime prevention or services for victims' families.

  • Rutgers Eagleton Poll

    Support for the death penalty is declining. A May 2002 Rutgers Eagleton Poll revealed dramatic reversals of public opinion among New Jerseyans. When asked to choose between execution and life in prison without possibility of parole for people convicted of murder, 48% favor life while 36% support death. Even among the 36% who support the death penalty, 43% reversed their position when offered an alternative of life, plus restitution. Sixty-six percent of N.J. residents said they support a one-year death penalty moratorium here.

  • Quinnipiac poll

    "Our poll shows the apparent consensus in favor of capital punishment is just a mirage. We found worries about false convictions and unfair application of the death penalty to minorities and the poor. And when we asked the public to consider an alternative punishment for murder, it is evenly divided between the death penalty and life without parole,"

    Quinnipiac University Professor Scott McLean, summarizing a recent poll

  • Statistics from around the country


Friday, October 31, 2014 at 10:45:40 (6000/1500)