Poll: Majority of Boston Residents Oppose Death Penalty for Boston Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

| by Emily Smith
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A poll recently published by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center revealed that a majority of Boston residents oppose the death penalty for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The random telephone poll was conducted in early September and found that 57 percent of respondents would prefer if Tsarnaev served a life sentence in prison.

“I’m a strong opponent of the death penalty because I feel it serves no purpose,” Lawrence Watson, a polltaker, said “It’s not a deterrent.”

Life without parole was supported throughout every demographic, including men and women, people with various levels of education, and among white, black and Hispanic respondents.

“Massachusetts is a state that has opposed the death penalty for a long time,” Director of the UNH Survey Center Andrew Smith said. “People are not going to change their long-held positions.”

A small percentage of polltakers, however, did reply in favor of the death sentence in Tsarnaev’s case, despite the fact that the act is illegal in Massachusetts.

Alicia Jno-Baptiste, who supports the death penalty in Tsarnaev’s case, said he would still get to live and be happy, which is something the people he attacked will never be able to do.

Sources: The Boston Globe, ThinkProgress