UK support for death penalty drops below 50% – Reprieve comment

March 26, 2015

Public support for the death penalty in Britain has dropped to less than half the UK population for the first time, according to a new survey.

The latest British Social Attitudes survey, released today, revealed that a majority of people in the UK – 52 per cent – now oppose the death penalty. Three decades ago, the same survey found that 75 per cent of the population supported capital punishment; a figure that has now fallen to 48 per cent.

Commenting, Clare Algar, Executive Director of Reprieve, which supports people facing the death penalty, said:

“This welcome finding finally debunks the myth that, given half the chance, the British people would vote to bring back hanging. In fact the trend is clear – Brits in increasing numbers agree that the death penalty has no place in a civilised society. Capital punishment has little to do with justice or crime deterrence, and all countries – including the UK – should be working towards global abolition.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information please contact Reprieve’s press office: +44 207 553 8140

2. The British Social Attitudes survey, conducted by NatCen Social Research, is available here.