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Shifts noticed in Nebraska residents' support for death penalty

In the recent general election, Nebraska residents had the opportunity to cast their votes for or against the reinstatement of the death penalty in the state. Of those who did actually vote, 61 percent voted in favor of the reinstatement. But, is that result reflective of how the majority of Nebraska residents really think? Some recently released research results suggests it is not.

In looking at support for the death penalty on a national level, one poll by Gallup indicates that the majority of Americans actually support the use of the death penalty in criminal cases. This poll found support among 60 percent of people. In contrast, the Pew Center Research Poll found that support for or against the use of the death penalty was more divided with only 49 percent in support of it.

In Nebraska, a survey conducted by the Nebraska Bureau of Sociological Research found that in 2016, 45 percent of state residents voiced support for the death penalty. This is in stark comparison to the 75 percent who were in support of the death penalty in 1987. The survey is conducted every year by mail with questions being sent to approximately 4,500 people. It is reported that approximately 30 percent of those who receive the surveys submit responses.

Defendants in Nebraska who are facing serious criminal charges and potential sentences that may include the death penalty may wish to talk with an attorney. Understanding the state's laws as well as any overriding public sentiment on matters may be helpful at these times.

Source: NET, "Surveys Show Decrease In Support For Death Penalty Among Some Nebraskans," Ben Bohall, Nov. 30, 2016


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