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An article and chart from gallup.com including information about the ways in which Americans' views of the death penalty changed from 1936-2008.
This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2011-05-28.
The graphs in this resource would be very useful, especially if you poll the students in the class to see how they measure up against it. The various graphs answer different questions allowing one to see how people's views changes. For instance, they ask whether the people believed in the death penalty for murder and then whehter they would rather have people convicted of murder be put to death or spend life in prison. It explains the reasoning behind the different polls.
One thing that I wish they did would be to explain what was happening during the different trends on the graph. In the 1960's more people were against the death penalty due to the baby boomer generation, equal rights and a number of other factors, while during the late 80's and early 90's there was an all-time high and yet is not explained and students can become confused by this (though it seems to stem from the high murder rate).