Thursday, May 28, 2009

Facts and figures: on Australian popular support for the death penalty

An article in Tuesday’s Sydney Daily Telegraph on a new Australian Institute of Criminology (A.I.C.) report contained an interesting statistic on the level of Australians’ support for the death penalty. Here is the relevant excerpt from an on-line version of that Telegraph article:

Support for the death penalty continues to fall, with backing falling to 40 per cent, well down from more than 60 per cent two decades ago.
I was surprised to read that support was so low, given that I read in The Sydney Morning Herald a while ago that

even in Australia a 2005 poll in The Bulletin showed majority support for capital punishment
A fall of at least twenty per cent. in a mere four years seems improbable, though not entirely implausible—perhaps the sentencing of the Bali Nine led to much of the decrease.

I would be interested to see precisely how the survey question was put to respondents, though. (The A.I.C. report is available on-line but my attempts to download it have failed.) I can’t imagine sixty per cent. of Australians opposing the death penalty in all possible circumstances, when even a Catholica commenter like Mr. Kevin Latta can say that

If the civil authorities decided to introduce capital punishment for sex offenders, I would not be a protestor, but that is not going to happen.
Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2009


Arnold I. Reeves said...

A pleasant thought occurs: if Australia did impose capital punishment for sex offenders - let alone for sex offenders and their accomplices - we could probably get rid of half the Novus Ordo bureaucracy, and nine-tenths of the Protestant bureaucracies, in one fell swoop.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention many a Talmudic Jew and Freemason as well...

+ Wolsey