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NCJ Number: 147993 Find in a Library
Title: IT'S NOT WHAT YOU ASK, IT'S THE WAY THAT YOU ASK IT: QUESTION FORM AND PUBLIC OPINION ON THE DEATH PENALTY
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:74  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:32-50
Author(s): P R Jones
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 19
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article suggests that polls of public opinion on the death penalty are misinterpreting information by effectively dissuading a no opinion response through the use of a standard no filter question format.
Abstract: For all their faults, public opinion polls are of great importance to public policymaking, especially on issues that are highly visible and controversial. During the past two decades, polls in the United States have shown considerable growth in the support of capital punishment. A number of studies have questioned the validity of opinion polls as measures of attitudes on this issue - with apparent support for capital punishment dropping precipitously when alternative options, such as life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole, are provided. The present research suggests that reliance on standard questions that simply seek a favor/oppose response can overestimate support for and opposition to the death penalty. More important, the number of people with no clear opinion on this issue can almost double, simply by employing a different question format. Tables, figures, notes, references, cases cited
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Courts; Public Opinion of Corrections
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=147993

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