56% of Georgians Favor Replacing the Death Penalty

In a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy from December 19 through December 23, 2019, 56% of Georgia voters favored replacing the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. 33% were opposed while 11% were undecided. The margin for error in the poll was +- 4 percentage points.

Respondents were asked:

Because of the constitutionally-mandated appeals, additional trials and associated housing expenses, the death penalty costs Georgia taxpayers substantially more than sentencing prisoners to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Additionally, death penalty cases can drag on for more than a decade, forcing victims’ families to endure years of uncertainty and waiting. In contrast, a sentence of life in prison without parole would offer swift and certain justice that allows these families to move on with the healing process.

Given this, would you support or oppose replacing the death penalty in Georgia with a life sentence without parole?

The results paint a clear picture – faced with an expensive and error-prone system, a majority of Georgians are in favor of eliminating the death penalty and redirecting needed money to solving other crimes, investing in education to prevent crime, and providing more services to victims and their families.

The results hold true across the entire state, with a majority in each region in favor of replacement:

Region Support Oppose Undecided
Atlanta Metro61%27%12%
North Georgia46%43%11%
Central Georgia51%40%9%
South Georgia52%38%10%

The results were similar across age ranges, with a higher number of those under 50 favoring replacing the death penalty:

Women more strongly favor replacement, though a majority of men are in support:

Legal

House Bill 702 Introduced to Repeal the Death Penalty

On Thursday, March 28th, a bipartisan group of representatives introduced House Bill 702 which, if enacted, would abolish the death penalty in Georgia. The bill will not get a hearing this year, but will be considered in the next legislative session. The bill was introduced by Representative Brett Harrell and co-sponsored by Representatives Bob Trammell, William Boddie, Scott Holcomb, Bill Werkheiser, and Scot Turner.

We will provide regular updates and action items as we learn more about this bill.