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Californians Now Evenly Split on Death Penalty

January 18, 2016

In an ongoing shift in public opinion about the death penalty in California, the Sacramento Bee reports that the number of state voters who favor doing away with capital punishment has grown to virtually the same size as those seeking to speed up the execution process, according to a new poll.

The Field Poll, released on January 15, comes as state officials continue to grapple with legal challenges that have long stalled executions in the state.

When asked what the state should do in response, 48 percent of registered voters said California should take steps to speed up the process, according to the poll. Forty-seven percent of registered voters said the state should do away with the death penalty and replace it with life sentences without the possibility of parole.

The result reflects a shift since September 2014, when Californians favored speeding the execution process by a 52 percent-to-40 percent margin.

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