I am quoted today in Christian Science Monitor piece on current trends in death penalty in USA, based on recent interview. I am even given the concluding word.
"Abolitionists like Greg Mitchell, author of Dead Reckoning, which tracks the history of the death penalty, say it is mistake to assume, based on polling data, that the majority of Americans support the death penalty, because the question does not offer life without parole as an alternative punishment. When asked in other polls, he says, Americans tend to be more evenly divided.
"For example, when Gallup gave the choice between death penalty and life imprisonment without parole, 49 percent choose the former and 46 the latter. (Gallup did not ask the question this year.) 'There are far fewer executions [than] there used to be because of the reluctance of prosecutors, because they know the [legal] roadblocks and they know jurors, when it comes down to it, don't want to convict,' Mr. Mitchell says. 'Public vengeance is satisfied with life without parole.'"
For full historical context for this, and a probe of current trends, see my new e-book, Dead Reckoning (just $2.99).