Poll: New low of 49% in U.S. say death penalty applied fairly

The percentage of Americans who believe the death penalty is applied fairly continues to decrease, falling below 50% this year for the first time. Forty-nine percent now say the death penalty is applied fairly and 45% say it is applied unfairly.

The 49% who say the death penalty is applied fairly is, by one percentage point, the lowest Gallup has measured since it first asked the question in 2000 and reflects a gradual decline of this view over the past decade. Meanwhile, the percentage who say capital punishment is applied unfairly has edged higher, with this year’s four-point gap marking the smallest difference between the two views in Gallup’s polling.