Does Terrorism Influence Public Support for the Death Penalty? Lisa Stolzenberg Author
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Description

While much is known about the character of death penalty sup-porters and opponents, less is understood surrounding shifts in public sentiment concerning capital punishment owning to larger events, such as terrorist activities against the homeland. While it is recognized that public views concerning the death penalty vary by such contextual features as homicide rates and other factors, additional potential influ-ences on death penalty support such as that of 9/11 have yet to be scrutinized. The intent and purpose of this study, then, is to determine if occasions such as that of 9/11 impact public support for the death penalty. Nesting the study in a comparison of the instrumental and symbolic perspectives, two pooled cross section time-¬series equations were estimated using data from the Uniform Crime Reports and the General Social Survey to evaluate the impact of 9/11 on death penalty support. The main finding reveals support for the symbolic perspective.

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