In the context of rereading the book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, by Sister Helen Prejean, the leading force in the American movement to abolish capital punishment; a new poll shows support for capital punishment has dropped in California.

The abolitionist arguments are built on emotional stories of brutal childhoods, the court economics of capital cases and the horror of death row housing.

The capital punishment supporter arguments are built on the recognition of evil, the recognition that there are crimes that cry to heaven and it is only through taking the life of the evil doer, through proper judicial action and in our name, that evil is truly confronted and true justice rendered.

An excerpt from the Sacramento Bee article.

Support for the death penalty in California is at its lowest point in nearly 50 years, although more than half of the state’s registered voters still favor it, a new Field Poll has found.

The poll found 56 percent still believe the death penalty should be kept as a punishment for serious crimes, with 34 percent opposed and 10 percent undecided.

The findings come as states nationwide are grappling with a shortage of drugs used for lethal injections and critics who say some recent executions have been botched and left inmates suffering as they died. They also come after a July ruling by a federal judge in Los Angeles that found lengthy delays in executing California inmates have made the death penalty unconstitutional in the state.

Support for the death penalty in California has been eroding steadily for years, falling from a high of 83 percent in 1985 and 1986 Field Polls to its current level, the lowest since a 1965 survey found only 51 percent approval. The last Field Poll done on the issue, in 2011, found 68 percent in favor of keeping the death penalty, compared to 27 percent opposed.

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