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Majority of Utahns prefer alternatives to death penalty, according to new poll

Majority of Utahns prefer alternatives to death penalty, according to new poll (File photo: MGN)

(KUTV) — A recent poll appears to show the majority of Utahns are not in favor of the death penalty.

The Utah Justice Coalition, a criminal justice reform group, released the results of a new poll Feb. 9 that asked, "Of the following list of choices, which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder?"

  • 9 percent of respondents said they prefer life in prison with no possibility of parole.
  • 47 percent said they prefer life in prison with no possibility of parole and a requirement that the convicted must work while in prison and pay restitution to the victims.
  • 8 percent said they prefer life in prison with a possibility of parole after serving 40 years.
  • 29 percent said they prefer the death penalty.
  • 6 percent said they were unsure.

The Coalition said in its press release that the 64 percent of participants favoring alternatives to the death penalty reflect "changing attitudes toward the death penalty by Utah residents."

“The death penalty is losing favor in our state because it wastes tax dollars, is ineffective in stopping violent crime, and risks possibly killing an innocent person, and none of those things align with our conservative principles,” said said Kevin Greene, Organizing Director of Utah Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a project of the Utah Justice Coalition.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, North Carolina and took place Jan. 13 to 15. Pollsters spoke with 784 Utah voters.

The death penalty in legal in Utah, but only applicable to those found guilty of aggravated murder. The death penalty is either administered through lethal injection or by firing squad, according to the Utah Department of Corrections.


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