Support for the death penalty in California is the lowest it has been in almost 50 years, though a majority of voters still favor it.
A new Field Poll found 56 percent of California voters support keeping the death penalty as a punishment for serious crimes, compared to 34 percent who oppose it. That’s down from 68 percent in 2011 and consistent support above 80 percent in the 1980s and early ‘90s. The last time support was lower was 1965, when a poll found 51 percent of Californians favored the death penalty.
The future of capital punishment in California is up in the air following a July ruling by a federal judge that the state’s administration of the death penalty is so dysfunctional it is unconstitutional.
When asked by Field how the state should respond to the decision, 52 percent of poll respondents said California should work to speed up the execution process, while 40 percent said the state should do away with the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole.