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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135762 Find in a Library
Title: Current Death Penalty Opinion in New York State
Journal: Albany Law Review  Volume:54  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1990)  Pages:819-843
Author(s): R M Bohm; T J Flanagan; P W Harris
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 25
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines current public attitudes toward the death penalty in New York State.
Abstract: Part I describes the contest between the governors of New York State and the State Legislature since 1977, during which gubernatorial vetoes have survived attempted overrides on death penalty bills. Part II examines a recent New York State public opinion poll on the death penalty and compares the results to Gallup national opinion polls on the death penalty over a similar time period. Part III provides a more detailed analysis of the New York State poll through the use of multivariate analytic techniques. Like the rest of the Nation, New Yorkers appear to support capital punishment, as nearly three-quarters of New Yorkers responded affirmatively when asked whether they support capital punishment for convicted murderers. Further, these attitudes are strongly held, since most of those who favor the death penalty do so "strongly." A detailed analysis of the data, however, does not show monolithic or unconditional support for capital punishment among New Yorkers. There are three caveats. First, support for alternatives to the death penalty is widespread in the State. Second, the data indicate that the public is both sophisticated and discriminating in its support for the death penalty. Support is qualified by the precise nature of the offense and the character of the offender. Third, the data suggest that the general statewide support for capital punishment masks pockets of significantly lower support among some New York residents. The data show that Democrats and "liberals," highly educated New Yorkers, and persons without formal religious affiliation are significantly less likely to favor the death penalty than others. Women and persons age 30 to 34 are most inclined to favor alternatives to capital punishment. 150 footnotes
Main Term(s): Capital punishment; Public Opinion of Corrections
Index Term(s): New York
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