KQED-TV reports, "Poll: Californians Disenchanted With Death Penalty, 3 Strikes," by by Peter Jon Shuler.
A new poll out shows Californians disenchanted with the state's criminal justice system. The Public Policy Institute of California surveyed likely voters on a wide range of topics on the November Ballot.
The survey did not ask specific questions about Proposition 34, which would repeal the death penalty, or Proposition 36, which would revise the three-strikes law. But questions about the concepts behind them turned up what appear to be shifting attitudes.
Across parties, demographics and regions, 73 percent said they favor changes to three strikes. PPIC president Mark Baldassare says Californians have become very conscious about the costs of prisons.
"Voters have identified for several years now that the state budget situation is a big problem, and they'd rather see money go to education than to corrections," Baldassare said.
Half of likely voters polled said the penalty for first degree-murder should be life imprisonment, while 42 percent said the penalty should be death.
"More Californians prefer life term to death penalty," is the Central Valley Business Times report.
Half of Californians who say they are likely voters in next month’s elections (50 percent) say life imprisonment with absolutely no possibility of parole should be the penalty for first-degree murder, while 42 percent say it should be death.
The figures are from the newest statewide polling by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, released Wednesday night.
Results were similar in September 2011 (50 percent life imprisonment, 45 percent death penalty).
Among likely voters, most Democrats (66 percent) prefer life imprisonment and most Republicans (58 percent) prefer the death penalty, while independents are split (42 percent life imprisonment, 43 percent death penalty).
The survey results may foreshadow the outcome of Proposition 34 on the ballot, which would eliminate the death penalty in the state.
Proposition 36, also on the ballot next month, would revise the three strikes law. Again, like the death penalty, the survey did not ask specifically about the propositions but did ask about some of the concepts behind them.
The PPIC Statewide Survey was conducted with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,003 California adult residents interviewed on landlines and cell phones from Sept. 9-16.
Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish according to respondents' preferences.
The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.5 percent for all adults, ±3.9 percent for the 1,339 registered voters, and ±4.4 percent for the 995 likely voters.