Most Oklahomans favor the death penalty and find it “morally acceptable,” although a smaller percentage think it deters crime, according to a new Oklahoma Poll.
About 74 percent of those surveyed said they favored the death penalty for those convicted of murder. That figure includes about 23 percent of respondents who said they “somewhat favor” the death penalty.
Support for the death penalty is higher in Oklahoma than in the nation as a whole. A 2013 Gallup poll found that 60 percent of Americans favored the death penalty. The national number has declined from a peak of 80 percent support in 1994.
The state also has a higher proportion of conservatives, who tend to favor the death penalty in greater numbers than the nation as a whole. Nearly 83 percent of Oklahoma Poll respondents who identified themselves as conservative said they favored the death penalty.
Only about 12 percent of respondents in the Sooner Poll said they “strongly oppose” the death penalty. However, that figure varied with respondents’ age. Almost 40 percent of people from 18 to 44 years old said they opposed the death penalty, while less than 18 percent of those 65 and older were opposed.
About the Oklahoma Poll
The poll of 401 likely voters was conducted November 1-5 by SoonerPoll.com, using a random digit-dialing technique that included cellphone and landline telephone numbers. Results were weighted by gender, age and party. The poll was sponsored by the Tulsa World. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.