PUBLIC OPINION: Majority in Alabama Supports a Temporary Halt to Executions

A recent Alabama opinion poll found that less than half of those surveyed believe Alabama's death penalty is applied fairly and 57% of respondents support a temporary halt to executions in the state until questions about fairness and reliability are studied. In other findings, 96% of those surveyed support the use of DNA in cases where it might prove guilt or innocence and 62% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported suspension of the death penalty until questions about the use of DNA testing have been answered.

"The evidence of unfairness surrounding the administration of the death penalty is so overwhelming that it's not surprising that more folks are acknowledging it," said Bryan Stevenson, Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery.

The statewide poll was conducted in July 2005 by Capital Survey Research Center, the polling arm of the Alabama Education Association. (Associated Press, July 29, 2005). See Public Opinion and Innocence.