What is it about?
In recent years there are political attempts to promote laws that will allow applying death sentences for terrorists. To explore whether the Israeli society supports such laws, we conducted a study which estimates public support of capital punishment and explores the model that includes crime type and severity, as well as offender, observer, and victim characteristics. The study employs a factorial survey and our findings are based on a large, random and representative sample of Israeli citizens. Our findings indicate that Israeli society does not support the death penalty. The most salient predictors were perceived severity, crime type, and respondent gender. The support of capital punishment was more frequent in scenarios describing terrorist attacks, in crimes that were perceived as more severe, and among male respondents. The manuscript discusses these results in the context of chronic terrorism that is characteristic of Israel, punitive motives, and gender role socialization.
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Why is it important?
From the theoretical point of view, this research supports the ecological framework's assumptions and indicates that the support for capital punishment stems from the interaction between individual and contextual factors. From the practical point of view, officials and legislators should be aware of public sentiment when it comes to the death penalty.
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This page is a summary of: Predicting Israeli Public Support for Capital Punishment: Crime Type and Severity, Offender, Observer, and Victim Characteristics, Crime & Delinquency, July 2021, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/00111287211029859.
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