Posted Oct 14, 2011 10:30 am CDT
Sixty-one percent of Americans responding to a Gallup poll say they approve of the death penalty for murder convictions, the lowest level since 1972, when the Supreme Court voided state death penalty laws in Furman v. Georgia.
Thirty-five percent of Americans polled oppose the death penalty, according to a press release and USA Today. The numbers are similar to 1936, the first year that Gallup asked about the death penalty. At that time, 59 percent of Americans supported capital punishment and 38 percent opposed it.
Support for the death penalty was highest in 1994, when 80 percent of Americans favored it.