For the first time in 45 years, the death penalty has lost the support of the majority of Americans. A recent Pew poll shows that 49% of americans believe the death penalty should be permitted as a form of retributive justice.

The first thing I wondered is how many adults Pew typically interviews before releasing a study like this one. Pew's website says 700 to 1,500 interviews per country, with 1,000 interviews the most common sample size. 

For the purposes of simplicity, let's round up to 50%. Half the pie. To me, this is a remarkable statistic because this is such a contentious issue, and in the U.S. falls nearly exactly right down the middle. Support peaked at 80% in 1994. What changed? 

In this case the real question is does the opinion matter, when the fact remains. After all, did create and continue to allow for a world that kills those perceived to be responsible for the most grave and terrible crimes. What at what cost? Is justice really served when the guilty's life is over? 

What is the perfect punishment for a crime? Criminality is a seen as a cancer on society that must be removed to survive. But the question of why the crime exists is ignored. We should look for the cause of the crime to prevent it rather than suffer its consequence. Because in the world I want to live in, people don't commit the crimes bad enough to merit state sanctioned death. 


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