405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Poll: More than Half of Oklahomans Favor Life Sentences over Death Penalty

08-Aug-2016

Recently, the Oklahoman published the results of a poll that indicates the majority of people in Oklahoma would support abolishing the death penalty in favor of life sentences. What is interesting about the results is that many of those who say they would be willing to replace capital punishment with sentences of life in prison are people who actually say they support the death penalty. In other words, even death penalty proponents seem to think that a life sentence would be more appropriate than death.

While the results seem to be ironic, they are not actually that surprising given the fiasco that has been the death penalty in Oklahoma over the last few years. We have the death penalty lawsuits which pitted the state's two high courts against each other.

We have the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, whose execution was called off mid-process when a vein collapsed and the lethal injection drugs were not administered properly; Lockett died nearly 45 minutes later.

And most recently, we have the eleventh-hour halt to the execution of Richard Glossip, after the state discovered that one of the drugs it had received to use in the execution was the wrong drug; apparently, it had been used anyway in the execution of Charles Warner.

In light of these events, the state has agreed to delay all executions "until we have complete confidence in the system," according to Governor Mary Fallin.

However, confidence in the system is more than wavering and may be difficult to restore. According to the poll conducted by SoonerPoll, of the nearly 400 "likely voters" surveyed, nearly 75 percent identified as supporters of the death penalty; of these "supporters," however, more than half--53 percent--said they would support a plan to replace the death penalty with life sentences without parole, forfeiture of all property, and mandatory restitution to the families of the victims.

Some of the respondents who said they supported the death penalty still felt uncomfortable "playing God" to determine who lives and who dies.

According to Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, these results--which seem to be trending nationwide--show that "support" for the death penalty is weaker than it appears at first glance. People who "support" the death penalty typically do so because they do not believe other alternatives are available. However, Dunham says, "When other alternatives are offered, those alternatives are much more acceptable to the public than the death penalty."

Obviously, 398 people is a relatively small sample for the poll, but these results are mirrored in similar polls across the nation, and although those who identify as liberal show slightly higher support for replacing the death penalty, rates were still high among those who identify as conservative.

What are your thoughts? Is it possible for Oklahoma to restore the death penalty in such a way that citizens are confident of the state's ability to mete the punishment the "right" way? Or is it time to retire the death penalty once and for all?



 

 

 



All News

More News

Tulsa Tire Store Employee Accused of Sexually Assaulting Customer
17-Jul-2017

An employee of a Tulsa tire store has been arrested on a sexual ba..

Man Sentenced in Shooting of Valley Brook Police Officer
14-Jul-2017

An Oklahoma City man who shot a Valley Brook police officer on New..

No Restrictions on Oklahoma Sex Offender Moving Next Door to Victim
10-Jul-2017

Oklahoma places a lot of residency restrictions on convicted sex o..

Norman Father Arrested in Daughter's Shooting Death
07-Jul-2017

Just before dawn on June 29, a Norman man called 9-1-1 to report t..

Man's Child Abuse Charge Upgraded to Murder
03-Jul-2017

An Oklahoma City man charged with child abuse after his infant nep..

Garvin County Man Sentenced for Sexually Abusing Neighbor
30-Jun-2017

A man convicted in February of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old ne..

Oklahoma Man Accused of Attempting to Kill Cousin, Then Hiring an Escort
26-Jun-2017

An Oklahoma man who allegedly tried to kill his cousin in an arson..

Supreme Court Ruling Says Trademark Law Barring Offensive Names Infringes on Free Speech
23-Jun-2017

You have likely never heard of Asian American rock band the Slants..

Teen Who Urged Boyfriend to Commit Suicide Convicted of Manslaughter
19-Jun-2017

In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III attempted to take his own..

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Warrantless Cell Phone Location Search Violates Fourth Amendment
12-Jun-2017

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that cou..

×