April 23, 2001 - Connecticut Voters For Death Penalty Moratorium, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Split Between Death And Life Without Parole
By a 59 - 33 percent margin, Connecticut voters support a two-year moratorium on administering the death penalty, allowing time for further study of whether the death penalty is applied fairly, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

Asked simply whether or not they support the death penalty, Connecticut voters favor it 60 - 30 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

But when they were asked whether the penalty for murder should be death or life in prison with no chance of parole, voters split 42 percent for death and 43 percent for life without parole, with 15 percent undecided.

By a 62 - 34 percent margin, Connecticut voters do not think the death penalty deters others from committing murder.

"Public opinion on the death penalty is complicated. Although voters support the death penalty by a margin of 2 to 1, they also support a moratorium by almost 2 to 1. Voters have second thoughts when offered the option of life in prison without parole. They also apparently have enough concerns about how the death penalty is administered that they would support a two-year moratorium," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz.

All persons convicted of murder should get the death penalty, 8 percent of voters say, while 15 percent say no one should get the death penalty and 76 percent say the death penalty should depend on the circumstances of each case.

By a 77 - 12 percent margin, Connecticut voters oppose the death penalty for persons who are mentally retarded.

By a 68 - 29 percent margin, voters believe that a poor person is more likely than a rich person to get the death penalty for the same crime. By a 55 - 41 percent margin, voters believe a black person is more likely than a white person to face the death penalty.

"Voters, and even about half of death penalty supporters, believe that blacks are more likely than whites to get the death penalty," Schwartz said.
                                Economic Concerns	



In an open-ended question, where voters can give any answer, 21 percent of voters list the economy or unemployment/jobs as the most important problem facing the country today. Another 17 percent list education or funding public schools, followed by 8 percent for crime/violence/drugs and 7 percent for healthcare/health costs.

The nations' economy is "excellent," 4 percent of voters say, while 57 percent say it is "good;" 34 percent say it is "not so good," and 5 percent say it is poor. Economic conditions will get better in the next 12 months, 25 percent of voters say, while 28 percent say they will get worse and 44 percent say they will stay the same.

Ten percent of Connecticut voters say their personal finances are "excellent," while 63 percent say they are "good;" 20 percent say they are "not so good," and 6 percent say they are "poor."

From April 10 - 16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 910 Connecticut registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu

26. What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Crime/Violence 4% 3% 5% 3% 2% 5% Drugs 3 3 3 3 2 4 Youth Crime/ Violence/Gangs 1 1 1 1 1 1

Guns/Gun Control 1 - 1 3 - 2

Budget/Deficit 1 1 2 1 1 2 Spending Priorities 1 1 1 - 1 -

Economy 19 18 17 22 21 17 Unemployment/Jobs 2 1 2 2 2 2

Taxes 6 9 6 3 8 4

Racism/Race Relations 2 1 2 1 2 2

Poverty/Homelessness 1 1 2 1 2 1

Lack of Ethics/Morality 2 6 - 1 2 3

Family Breakdown/ Family Values 1 1 - 1 2 1

Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 5 4 5 4 4 5 Medicare 2 1 4 1 1 2

Social Security 2 1 2 1 1 2 Elderly/Senior Issues 1 - - 1 - 1

Education 16 17 15 16 13 18 Funding Public Schools 1 - 2 1 1 1 Violence in Schools 2 2 2 2 1 3

Environment/Pollution 4 1 5 3 5 3

Energy problem 1 2 - 1 2 -

Politicians/Government 2 1 4 1 2 3

Foreign Policy 5 4 3 5 5 5

Other 6 7 6 7 7 6 DK/NA 4 4 3 4 4 4



27. Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favor 60% 77% 47% 61% 68% 54%

Oppose 30 17 41 28 25 33

DK/NA 11 6 12 11 6 14

28. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Excellent 4% 6% 2% 3% 6% 3% Good 57 66 58 55 58 56

Not so good 34 23 36 36 30 36 Poor 5 4 4 6 6 4

DK/NA - 1 - - - -

29. Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Excellent 10% 11% 7% 11% 11% 9% Good 63 69 61 62 68 59

Not so good 20 14 23 21 16 23 Poor 6 4 7 6 4 8

DK/NA 1 2 1 1 1 1

30. During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in the United States will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Get better 25% 40% 16% 24% 28% 23%

Get worse 28 17 38 27 26 29

Stay the same 44 43 43 46 46 43

DK/NA 3 - 3 4 1 4

31. During the next 12 months, do you think it is likely or unlikely that a recession will occur in this country?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Likely 37% 27% 44% 39% 37% 38%

Unlikely 56 69 48 54 58 54

DK/NA 7 4 8 7 4 9

32. What do you think should be the penalty for murder - the death penalty, or life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole?

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
 
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Death penalty 42% 55% 31% 44% 45% 40% 68% 1%

Life/No parole 43 32 55 43 39 45 19 90

DK/NA 15 14 14 14 16 14 14 9



33. Which statement comes closest to your point of view? (A) All persons convicted of murder should get the death penalty. (B) No one convicted of murder should get the death penalty. (C) Whether or not someone convicted of murder gets the death penalty should depend on the circumstances of the case.

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
 
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP
(A) All convicted
should get
death penalty.        8%     9%     7%     7%     9%     6%    12%     -%


(B) No one should get death penalty. 15 10 21 14 13 16 1 48

(C) Whether or not should depend on circumstances. 76 80 70 78 77 76 87 51

DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1



34. Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murdering a police officer?

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Favor 63% 78% 53% 64% 71% 58% 88% 19%

Oppose 26 14 38 25 21 30 4 74

DK/NA 11 8 9 12 8 13 8 7

35. Do you think that persons convicted of murder who are mentally retarded should or should not receive the death penalty?

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Yes/Should 12% 18% 11% 11% 14% 11% 18% 2%

No/Should not 77 68 83 77 74 79 68 96

DK/NA 11 14 6 12 12 10 13 2



36. As you may know, Illinois has instituted a moratorium on the use of the death penalty until it can be better determined if the death penalty is being administered accurately and fairly in the state.

Would you favor or oppose a 2 year moratorium on the death penalty in Connecticut?

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Favor 59% 49% 68% 60% 53% 64% 48% 80%

Oppose 33 45 26 31 42 27 46 15

DK/NA 7 5 5 9 5 9 6 5



37. How often do you think that a person has been sentenced to the death penalty in the United States who was, in fact, innocent for the crime he or she was charged with - do you think this has ever happened in the past 20 years, or do you think it has never happened?

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Yes/Has happened 92% 88% 95% 92% 92% 92% 90% 96%

No/Never happened 5 8 4 5 6 5 7 3

DK/NA 3 4 1 3 2 4 3 1



38. Do you think that the death penalty deters others from committing murder or not?

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Yes/Deters others 34% 51% 23% 32% 42% 28% 48% 9%

No/Dsn't deter othrs 62 45 74 63 54 68 48 87

DK/NA 4 4 3 5 4 4 4 3



38a. Do you think the desire for punishment or retribution is a legitimate reason for putting a murderer to death, or don't you think so?

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Yes 38% 49% 31% 39% 45% 33% 54% 11%

No 54 44 61 56 49 59 39 87

DK/NA 8 7 8 6 7 8 7 2



39. Would you tell me whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements... A poor person is more likely than a person of average or above average income to receive the death penalty for the same crime.

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Yes/Agree 68% 53% 76% 71% 67% 68% 61% 83% No/Disagree 29 41 22 26 29 28 36 16

DK/NA 4 7 2 3 3 4 3 1



40. Would you tell me whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements... A black person is more likely than a white person to receive the death penalty for the same crime.

                                                               Stand on Death
                                                               Penalty Q27
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    FavDP  OppDP


Yes/Agree 55% 39% 63% 57% 54% 55% 47% 71% No/Disagree 41 55 34 37 42 41 49 27

DK/NA 4 6 2 5 4 5 4 2