Polls show that a majority of Americans would support U.S. President Donald Trump’s death penalty call for New York terror suspect that killed eight people and injuring 13 others after ploughing a truck down a Lower Manhattan bike path.
Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant charged with terrorism after Tuesday’s deadly truck attack, confessed to investigators that he began planning the attack a year ago. Saipov, who entered the U.S. under the diversity visa lottery program, also said he intended to kill as many people as possible and “felt good” about what he did, according to a criminal complaint filed against him on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant also said he was inspired by so-called Islamic State (ISIS) and asked to hang the militant group’s flag in his hospital room. Saipov’s confession prompted President Trump to tweet out that the New York terror suspect should receive the death penalty.
Despite Trump facing backlash for his tweet, with the New York Times warning that the President’s comments could be used by defense lawyers to destroy a legal case against the terror suspect, a majority of Americans actually support Trump’s death penalty position, particularly when it comes to terrorists.
The most recent poll by Gallup found that 55 percent of Americans are in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder. However, the October 2017 poll also showed that public support for the death penalty had dipped to its lowest level in 45 years.
While Gallup generally asks respondents about capital punishment for “murder,” another polling institute asked specifically about “murder during acts of terrorism.” The most recent such poll by Quinnipiac found that 58 percent of Americans said terrorists convicted of murder during an act of terror should receive the death penalty.
The 2015 poll also asked Americans if Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 killed three people and injured 280 others, should get the death penalty, 62 percent of American respondents said yes.
The Boston bomber, who is of Chechen descent, was sentenced to death in 2015, but his death row has been delayed, with experts telling International Business Times earlier this year that “we’re probably still a decade out” before Tsarnaev receives the death penalty by lethal injection.
As of November 2017, capital punishment is currently authorized in 31 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Following the deadly truck attack in New York City, President Trump said he would “certainly consider” sending Saipov to the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where other terror suspects, including alleged September 11 plotters, are held.
Despite Trump’s approval ratings dropping to an all-time low in his presidency this week, polls show that some of the President’s decisions may be more or less popular with the general public. A recent poll also showed that 70 percent of Americans agree with Trump that political correctness is a “big problem” in America.
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