CALIFORNIA (USA): LESS VOTER SUPPORT FOR DEATH PENALTY
September 29, 2011: As they have for more than 5 decades, California voters overwhelmingly support the death penalty - but in a marked shift, more voters now prefer that convicted murderers be sentenced to life without parole instead of death, according to the latest Field Poll.
A solid 68 % of voters favor keeping the death penalty. But for the 1st time since the poll began asking the question 11 years ago, more voters - 48 % - say they would prefer that someone convicted of 1st-degree murder serve life without the possibility of parole.
40 % prefer the death penalty. Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo noted that 11 years ago, 44 % of those polled said they preferred death as punishment for 1st-degree murder and only 37 % in favored life in prison. The survey was a random sample of 1,001 registered voters, with each question asked to a random subsample of either 481 or 520 voters, with a maximum margin of error of 4.6 percentage points. (Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, 29/09/2011)