Public Opinion on Death Penalty

  • Sanjeev P. SahniEmail author
  • Mohita Junnarkar


Michael Foucault, one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century, talked about the disappearance of punishment as a public spectacle in Chap.  1 of his book Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975).


  1. American Bar Association Poll of the Criminal Justice System. (1999). Retrieved from
  2. Applegate, B. K., J. P. Wright, R. G. Dunaway, F. T. Cullen, and J. D. Wooldredge. (1993). Victim-offender race and support for capital punishment: A factorial design approach. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 18(1), 95–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Australian Human Rights Commission. United Nations Association of Australia. (2006). The death penalty—A matter of principle. Retrieved from
  4. Bandes, S. (2004). Fear factor: The role of media in covering and shaping the death penalty. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 1, 585–597.Google Scholar
  5. Barkan, S., & Cohn, S. (2005). Why whites favor spending more money to fight crime: The role of racial prejudice. Social Problems, 52(2), 300–314.Google Scholar
  6. Beale, S. (2006). The news media’s influence on criminal justice policy: How market driven news promotes punitiveness. William and Mary Law Review, 48, 397–481.Google Scholar
  7. Blok, Z., & Suter C. (2017). Triggers for abolition of the death penalty in Africa: A Southern African perspective (pp. 10–32). International Federation on Human Rights, The Botswana Centre for Human Rights.Google Scholar
  8. Chenwi, L. (2005). Towards the abolition of the death penalty in Africa: A human rights perspective (pp. 120–140). University of Pretoria.Google Scholar
  9. Choudhri, S., & Hiremath, V. (n.d.). Public opinion on death penalty: An emperical study in Belagavi City, Karnataka India. International Journal of Social Legal Analysis and Rural Development, 3(2), 48–52.Google Scholar
  10. Cornell Centre on Death Penalty Worldwide. (2014). Death penalty database. Cornell Law School. Retrieved from
  11. Dugger, A. (n.d.). What is public opinion? Retrieved from
  12. Ellsworth, P. C., & Ross, L. (1983). Public opinion and capital punishment: A close examination of the views of abolitionists and retentionists. Crime and Delinquency, 29, 120–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Foucault, M. (1975). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison (pp. 3–20). New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  14. Freeman, S. (2016). Original position. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition). Retrieved from
  15. Gallup Poll. (2017). Death penalty. Retrieved from
  16. Goodsir, D. (2003). Tracing a killer smile. The Age. Retrieved from
  17. Hood, R. (2013). The death penalty in Malaysia: Public opinion on the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking murder and firearms offences. Centre for Criminology. University of Oxford. London: The Death Penalty Project, pp. 1–41.Google Scholar
  18. Hood, R & Seemungal, F. (2011). Public opinion on the mandatory death penalty in Trinidad. A Report for the Death Penalty Project and the Rights Advocacy Project of the University of the West Indies Faculty of Law, pp. 1–5.Google Scholar
  19. Human Sciences Research Council. (1996). Rights or Wrongs: Public Attitudes Towards Moral Values. HSRC Review, 2(3), 4–5. Retrieved from
  20. Hummer, L. (2014). I witnessed Ohio’s execution of Dennis McGuire: What I saw was inhumane. The Guardian. Retrieved from
  21. United Nations. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. (2014). Retrieved from
  22. Jha, N. (2015). Constitutionality of media trials: A detailed analysis. Academike. Retrieved from
  23. Jha, J. (2017). The death penalty in South Asia. The Diplomat. Retrieved from
  24. Kelley, J., & Braithwaite, J. (1990). Public opinion and the death penalty in Australia. Justice Quarterly, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, 7(3), 538–553.Google Scholar
  25. Kentish, B. (2017). Half of leave voters want to bring back the death penalty after Brexit. Independent. Retrieved from
  26. Lane, J. (2015). Capital punishment: Where and why it’s practiced in Asia. Asian Correspondent. Retrieved from
  27. Live Law Research Team. (2016). Public opinion towards death penalty. Live Law. Retrieved from
  28. Maanvi. (2017). Where’s the Juvenile in the Nirbhaya Case? A Cook at a Dhaba & Unaware. The Quint. Retrieved from
  29. Mana. (2016). The amazing escape from hangman’s noose. The Times Group. Retrieved from
  30. Markowitz, M., & Harver, W. (2003). Public sentiment on the death penalty: Do race, gender, age, & state of mind matter? National Social Science Journal, 21(1).Google Scholar
  31. Midgley, J. (1974). Pubic opinion and the death penalty in South Africa. The British Journal of Criminology, 14(4), 345–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Muir, C. (2017). Goodbye, my darlings’-remembering the trauma of Australia’s last execution. The Guardian. Retrieved from
  33. N.A. (2006). PM happy over death penalty stance. The Age. Retrieved from
  34. N.A. (2013). Crime and punishment. Public perception, judgment and opinion. Penal Reform International. Satio Group of Companies, Department of Sociological and Marketing Research. Retrieved from
  35. N.A. (2015). India’s history of capital punishment in the last decade. India Today. Retrieved from
  36. N.A. (2017a). Death penalty fast facts. CNN Library. Retrieved from
  37. N.A. (2017b). Death penalties in Asia. The Nation. Retrieved from
  38. N.A. (2017c). EU local statement on abolition of the death penalty. Delegation of the European Union to the Council of Europe. Retrieved from
  39. N.A. (n.d.) Death Penalty Information Centre. International polls and studies. Retrieved from
  40. N.A. (n.d.). Death Penalty Information Centre. United Kingdom Marks 50th Anniversary of Death Penalty Abolition. Retrieved from
  41. Pearse, E. & (2001). Media effects and society (pp. 200–320). Taylor and Francis Group, New York.Google Scholar
  42. Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice (pp. 632–643). Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Sato, M. (2014). The death penalty in Japan: Will the public tolerate abolition? (pp. 37–46). UK: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Smith, O. (2018). Mapped: The 53 places that still have the death penalty-including Japan. The Telegraph. Retrieved from
  45. Stern, J. (2015). The cruel and unusual execution of clayton lockett. The Atlantic. Retrieved from
  46. Strange, C. (2018). The anniversary of Steven Truscott’s death sentence: From guilt to innocence. The Conversation. Retrieved from
  47. Study on the Question of the Death Penalty in Africa, Submitted by the Working Group on the Death Penalty in Africa in accordance with Resolution ACHPR/Res.79 (XXXVIII) 05, Adopted by The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 50th Ordinary Session (24 October–07 November 2011) Banjul, The Gambia.Google Scholar
  48. Tagusari, M. (2010). Death penalty in Japan. East Asian Law Journal, 1 (2), 93–106.Google Scholar
  49. Tankebe, J., & Boakye, K. (2016). A pioneering study of public opinion on death penalty in Ghana suggests unpopularity of the death penalty as punishment for crime. Death Penalty Worldwide. Cornell Law School. Retrieved from
  50. Tankebe, J., Boakye, K., & Atupare, A. (2015). Public opinion on the death penalty in Ghana. Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, 35–40.Google Scholar
  51. Tyler, T., & Weber, R. (1982). Support for the death penalty; instrumental response to crime or symbolic attitude? Law and Society Review, 17(1), 21–46.Google Scholar
  52. Unnever, J., & Cullen, F. (2005). Executing the innocent and support for capital punishment: Implications for public policy. Criminology and Public Policy, 4(1), 3–37.Google Scholar
  53. Vidmar, N., & Ellsworth, P. (1974). Public opinion on death penalty. Stanford Law Review, 26, 1245–1255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Vito, G. F., & Keil, T. J. (1998). Elements of support for the capital punishment: An examination of changing attitudes. Journal of Crime and Justice, 21(2), 17–36.Google Scholar
  55. Voeten, E. (2013). How the Supreme Court responds to public opinion. Washington Monthly. Retrieved from
  56. Vollum, S., & Buffington-Vollum, J. (2010). An examination of social-psychological factors and support for the death penalty: Attribution, moral disengagement, and the value-expressive function of attitudes. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 35(1–2), 15–36.Google Scholar
  57. York, B. (2017). Capital punishment in Australia. National Library of Australia. Retrieved from
  58. YouGov Survey. (2015). Poll results: Death penalty. Retrieved from
  59. Zhang, L. (2014). China’s death penalty debate. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  60. Zilala, C. (2013). A big step closer to abolishing the death penalty in Zimbabwe. Amnesty International. Retrieved from
  61. Zimring, F., & Johnson, D. (2012). Public opinion and death penalty reform in the People’s Republic of China. City University of Hong Kong Law Review, 3(2), 189–196.Google Scholar
  62. Zitrin, E. (2015) The African continent on the road to the abolition of death penalty. Retrieved from
  63. Zlotnick, M. (1996). The death penalty and the public opinion. South African Journal on Human Rights, 70–79.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jindal Institute of Behavioural SciencesO. P. Jindal Global UniversitySonipatIndia

Personalised recommendations