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Pew Survey Shows Lowest Public Support For Death Penalty In Four Decades

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The state has scheduled a December 1 clemency hearing for the first inmate scheduled for execution next year with a new lethal injection cocktail. In 2013, the Ohio Parole Board voted against clemency for Ronald Phillips. Meanwhile, a new survey by Pew Research shows 50 percent of Americans do not support capital punishment, the lowest number in four decades. Kristin Collins with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation says with more than 150 people on death row exonerated in recent years, including nine in Ohio, shifting opinion often starts with a broken system.

The survey shows that while support has declined across the political spectrum, Republicans favor the death penalty by more than two-to-one, compared with Democrats. Collins says people are beginning to understand a life sentence is not the "country club" atmosphere sometimes portrayed in movies.

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There are 137 men and one woman currently on Ohio's death row. 

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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