A Field Poll released today shows support for the death penalty in California is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years.
To be clear, a majority of Californians do support the death penalty. The Field poll finds 56 percent of voters are in favor of keeping it. But that number is down from 69 percent in 2011 and approval levels topping 80 percent in the 1980s and 90s. Republicans and voters living in the Central Valley tend to support the death penalty. Democrats, African Americans and voters in the San Francisco Bay Area are among the groups most likely to oppose the punishment.
Voters were also asked about a recent court ruling that found the state’s death penalty to be unconstitutional because it takes too long to carry out. In response 52 percent of voters said the state should speed up the process. Forty percent said California should abolish the death penalty in favor of life with the possibility of parole.