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The Nation

Public support for the death penalty is at the highest point recorded in more than a half-century of polling, with 79% of Americans favoring the execution of persons convicted of murder, according to the Gallup Poll. Ten years ago only 62% favored the death penalty, and as recently as 1966, a 47% plurality opposed capital punishment for murder. The latest survey also reveals growing public support for the death penalty for attempting to assassinate the President (63%), rape (51%) and hijacking an airplane (49%). Opposition to the death penalty narrowly outweighs support, 50% to 42%, for persons convicted of espionage during peacetime.


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