Explaining Spatial Variation in Support for Capital Punishment: A Multilevel Analysis

By Steven F. Messner / Eric P. Baumer / American Sociological Review / Richard Rosenfeld, on 1 January 2003

This research examines the effects of social context on support for the death penalty using individual-level data from the 1974-98 General Social Survey (GSS) which have been linked with aggregate level data on homicide rates and sociodemographic, political and economic characteristics. This study finds that residents of areas with higher homicide rates, a larger proportion of blacks, and a more conservative political climate are significantly more likely to support the death penalty, net of compositional differences.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Public opinion,