Majority of Canadians support reinstating the death penalty for murder: poll

Fifty-four per cent of Canadians, of a representative national sample, are in favour of capital punishment on murder convictions. (Courtesy: Unsplash/ Emiliano Bar)

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A majority of Canadians support the idea of reinstating the death penalty for murder, a new study says. 

Fifty-four per cent of Canadians, of a representative national sample, are in favour of capital punishment on murder convictions, according to a new Research Co. study released last week.

This figure has increased three percentage points since a similar poll was conducted in Feb. 2022.

When breaking it down by region, 58 per cent of Ontarians are in support of the return of capital punishment, while residents of Alberta ranked the highest across the country at 62 per cent. Those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba followed behind at 60 per cent each, while 58 per cent of British Columbia residents are in favour, 55 per cent in Atlantic Canada and 43 per cent in Quebec.

“Almost three-in-five Canadians aged 55 and over (59%, +4) would welcome the return of the death penalty,” Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., said in a news release. “The numbers are slightly lower among those aged 35-to-54 (54%, +3) and those aged 18-to-34 (50%, +3),” he continued. 

A majority of Canadians, 53 per cent, would prefer convicted murderers be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, while more than 37 per cent favour the death penalty.

Around 25 per of Canadians think capital punishment is never appropriate, nine per cent believe it’s always appropriate and over 58 per cent feel it can be appropriate sometimes. 

More than seven in 10 Canadians, including 71 per cent who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2021 federal election, support bringing the death penalty back. The proportion of New Democratic Party (NDP) voters in favour is lower at 49 per cent and voters of the Liberal Party at 48 per cent. 

Canadians opposed to reinstating the death penalty for murder, at 66 per cent, are primarily concerned about a person being wrongly convicted and executed. 

This online study’s results were conducted from Mar. 10 to 12, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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