Calif. Asian Americans in Favor of Death Penalty, According to New Study

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MOST Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (47.1 percent) support keeping the death penalty, according to the National Asian American Survey of registered voters in California. The survey also concluded that  55.9 percent of Californians —  57.3 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 57.5 percent of Latinos, and 46.4 percent of African Americans — were all in favor of keeping the death penalty.

However, respondents were more uncertain about the constitutionality of California’s death penalty law, with 43.8 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander Americans voted in favor of speeding up the process, and 39.4 percent were in favor of a life-sentence in prison instead.

“More AANHPIs [Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders] are undecided about the death penalty,” said Paul Jung, a Law Fellow at Asian Americans Advancing Justice based in Los Angeles. “This indicates that we need more community education on criminal justice issues and particularly in Asian languages.”

The Latino community shared the same views. 51.9 percent of those surveyed were in favor of speeding up the death penalty process, while 39.6 percent were in favor of replacing it with life in prison.

Asians and Pacific Islanders see death penalty as a issue of historic importance to the community.

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