It seems that Albertans, more than many others in Canada, believe in the concept of “an eye for an eye.” More than half of people in Alberta support the death penalty in Canada being brought back, a new survey suggests. In fact, the nationwide poll found that Alberta was the province most supportive of capital punishment for murderers.
Asked if they support the reinstatement of the death penalty in a Research Co survey, 16% of Albertans said they would “strongly.” support and a further 39% said they would “moderately” support.
British Columbia and Ontario actually recorded higher levels of “strong” support for capital punishment, 21% and 20% respectively. But because of lower “moderate” support, B.C. totalled 54% and Ontario 52%, below Alberta’s 55%.
Overall, just over half (51%) of Canadians said they support the reinstatement of the death penalty for murder, which was outlawed back in July of 1976.
This compares with 59% of people in the United States who support the possibility of prosecutors using capital punishment in murder cases, according to Research Co.
Geography aside, support for bringing back the death penalty was highest among Canadians aged 55 and over and people who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 federal election.
Alberta was strongly Conservative in the election.
The data is based on an online survey of 1,000 Canadians and 1,000 U.S. citizens.
Diving a little further into the Alberta results, 10% agreed with the statement that the “death penalty is always appropriate,” while 58% said it was “sometimes appropriate.”
Of those who said they supported capital punishment, 62% of Albertans said this was because the death penalty fits the crime of murder.
And 58% said it would “save taxpayers money and the costs associated with having murderers in prison”, while 24% believe “murderers cannot be rehabilitated.”
The survey also found that 15% of Albertans would strongly oppose the penalty being brought back, and 17% would moderately oppose it.
The other 13% of those surveyed were not sure.
Of those opposed to the reinstatement, 78% said they were worried about someone being wrongly convicted.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, more than 70% of the world’s countries have abolished capital punishment in law or practice.
The U.S. is an exception – although many states have abolished the punishment – as is China, which last year sentenced Canadian Robert Schellenberg to death for alleged drug smuggling.
Shortly after this sentencing, Canada issued new guidance warning Canadians about travel in China.