The Corner

Politics & Policy

Conservatives and the Death Penalty

Some conservatives — including Michelle Malkin, Jay Sekulow, and me — oppose capital punishment. But most conservatives and Republicans support it, and their support hasn’t really softened over the years, as Charles Fain Lehman demonstrates at the Free Beacon. In 2000, 70 percent of Republicans supported it. In 2009, 70 percent of Republicans did. And in 2018, again, it had 70 percent support. The drop in crime rates, changes in the composition of the party, the publicity about people taken off death row after years on it: None of it seems to have caused Republicans to budge.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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