LSU Survey: Support for death penalty in Louisiana slips

LSU Survey: Support for death penalty in Louisiana slips
Photo credit Louisiana Dept. of Corrections

Support for capital punishment in Louisiana has declined over the last few years.

The 2022 Louisiana Survey finds that 51 percent  of Louisiana residents support the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. That’s down from 58 percent in 2018, when the Louisiana Survey last included this question.

LSU pollster Mike Henderson says opposition to the death penalty is up to 38 percent.

“Four years ago supporters of the death penalty outnumbered opponents by 24 points, today that difference is only 13 points,” said Henderson.

Henderson says Louisiana is trending in the same direction as the rest of the country, and a major factor in that is the possibility of putting an innocent person to death.

“I sort of think people have seen those high profile cases and have re-considered whether that’s the best sentencing measure to handle these kinds of crimes,” said Henderson.

The death penalty is slowly being eliminated worldwide, with the U.S. as the only Western nation that still applies it regularly, and it remains legal in just 27 states. Henderson says it may take a while, but if the national trend continues as it has, capital punishment could become a thing of the past within the decade.

“Perhaps we are seeing a small reflection of that trend in this state and if it continues, then the Legislature may reconsider that view in their policy a decade from now or perhaps sooner,” said Henderson.

A bill to abolish the death penalty died in a Senate committee earlier in the session.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Louisiana Dept. of Corrections