About 50% do not support the death penalty

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The death penalty, often administered by injections of lethal drug cocktails, is receiving less public support, according to research by Pew. (dodgertonskillhause/morguefile.com)

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear two death-penalty cases this term, and while the court will primarily consider constitutional law in reaching their decisions, research shows that half of the country does not support capital punishment.

A new study released by the Pew Research Center found that the number of Americans in favor of the death penalty is at its lowest level in four decades.
The shifting opinion is often rooted in distrust in a broken system, according to Kristin Collins, a spokeswoman for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. She noted that more than 150 people on death row have been exonerated in recent years, including three in Tennessee.

"Seeing these kinds of cases, I think people are seeing that the system, it's not fair and it can't be trusted to decide which people deserve to die and which people deserve to live," Collins said.

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According to Pew, in the 1990s eight in 10 Americans supported capital punishment. The latest report showed that while support has declined across the spectrum, Republicans favored the death penalty more than two-to-one over Democrats.

According to the Tennessee Department of Correction, there are currently 64 people on death row, some of them with convictions dating back to the 1980s.
Collins said people are beginning to understand that a life sentence is not the "country club" atmosphere sometimes portrayed in movies.

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"Life without parole is a really harsh sentence, and I think anybody who might think it's sort of some fun, cushy sentence should go try it out," Collins said. "If you're in central prison, you never even get a contact visit. You only visit through thick glass and bars with your family. It's not a pleasant life."

It has been over two years since anyone has been sentenced to death in Tennessee.

Death Row Offenders in Tennessee:

Offender Number

Last Name

First Name

Race

DOB

County

Date of Crime

Sentence Date

Sentence

98568

Bane

John

White

12/29/1964

Shelby

11/20/1988

3/22/1990

Murder 1

503500

Bell

Rickey

Black

9/2/1979

Tipton

6/01/2010

3/30/2012

First Degree Murder

241961

Berry

Gdongalay

Black

9/5/1976

Davidson

2/27/1996

5/25/2000

First Degree Murder

126220

Black

Byron

Black

3/23/1956

Davidson

3/28/1988

3/10/1989

Murder 1

232838

Bland

Andre

Black

9/15/1973

Shelby

10/11/1992

3/31/1994

First Degree Murder

254315

Burns

Kevin

Black

4/20/1969

Shelby

4/20/1992

11/27/1995

First Degree Murder

139604

Carruthers

Tony

Black

7/1/1968

Shelby

2/24/1994

4/26/1996

First Degree Murder

221001

Carter

Preston

Black

4/25/1970

Shelby

5/28/1993

1/25/1995

First Degree Murder

99361

Caruthers

Walter

Black

11/24/1946

Knox

10/31/1980

2/8/1983

Murder 1

265398

Chalmers

Tyrone

Black

8/2/1973

Shelby

8/20/1994

7/18/1997

First Degree Murder

538416

Clayton

Sedrick

Black

5/15/1983

Shelby

1/19/2012

12/10/2014

First Degree Murder

328954

Davidson

Lemaricus

Black

6/13/1981

Knox

1/7/2007

10/30/2009

First Degree Murder

218365

Dellinger

James

White

1/24/1951

Blount

2/21/1992

9/3/1996

First Degree Murder

241710

Dotson

Jessie

Black

12/19/74

Shelby

3/2/2008

3/2/2011

First Degree Murder

465125

Freeland

John

Black

11/1/82

Chester

3/7/2009

5/23/2011

First Degree Murder

238941

Hall

Jon

White

8/5/1964

Madison

7/29/1994

2/5/1997

First Degree Murder

202644

Hall

Leroy

White

10/28/1966

Hamilton

4/17/1991

3/11/1992

First Degree Murder

165462

Hall

William

White

10/9/1956

Stewart

6/22/1988

12/4/1991

First Degree Murder

293321

Hawkins

James

Black

7/24/77

Shelby

2/8/2008

6/11/2011

First Degree Murder

250126

Henderson

Kennath

Black

3/9/1974

Fayette

5/2/1997

7/13/1998

First Degree Murder

109293

Hines

Anthony

White

4/20/1960

Cheatham

3/3/1985

1/10/1986

Murder 1

102143

Hodges

Henry

White

8/16/1966

Davidson

5/14/1991

1/30/1992

First Degree Murder

112195

Hugueley

Stephen

White

1/2/1968

Hardeman

1/17/2002

9/16/2003

First Degree Murder

113945

Irick

Billy

White

8/26/1958

Knox

4/30/1985

12/3/1986

Murder 1

204455

Ivy

David

Black

1/15/1972

Shelby

6/8/2001

3/6/2003

First Degree Murder

109031

Johnson

Donnie

White

1/15/1951

Shelby

12/8/1984

11/25/1985

Murder 1

421296

Johnson

Nickolus

Black

7/6/1978

Sullivan

11/27/2004

4/27/2007

First Degree Murder

455404

Jones

Henry

Black

8/23/63

Shelby

8/22/2003

5/19/2009

First Degree Murder

117262

Jones

James

Black

10/15/1950

Davidson

2/17/1986

7/15/1987

Murder 1

411510

Jordan

David

White

3/24/1964

Madison

1/11/2005

9/25/2006

First Degree Murder

157703

Keen

David

White

6/5/1962

Shelby

3/16/1990

8/16/1991

First Degree Murder

103308

King

Terry

White

6/14/1962

Knox

7/31/1983

2/6/1985

Murder 1

369215

Kiser

Marlon

White

2/18/1970

Hamilton

9/6/2001

11/20/2003

First Degree Murder

101426

McKay

Larry

Black

6/26/1956

Shelby

8/29/1981

2/7/1983

Murder 1

104321

McNish

David

White

7/15/1953

Carter

4/5/1983

8/15/1984

Murder 1

129769

Middlebrooks

Donald

White

7/30/1962

Davidson

4/26/1987

9/22/1989

Murder 1

95792

Miller

David

White

7/16/1957

Knox

5/31/1981

3/17/1982

Murder 1

204071

Morris

Farris

Black

11/9/1955

Madison

9/17/1994

1/18/1997

First Degree Murder

250488

Nesbitt

Clarence

Black

1/15/1974

Shelby

5/20/1993

3/24/1995

First Degree Murder

146457

Nichols

Harold

White

12/31/1960

Hamilton

1/30/1988

5/12/1990

First Degree Murder

215639

Odom

Richard

White

7/13/1961

Shelby

5/10/1991

10/15/1992

First Degree Murder

121163

Payne

Pervis

Black

3/1/1967

Shelby

6/27/1987

3/11/1988

Murder 1

261368

Pike

Christa

White

3/10/1976

Knox

1/12/1995

3/30/1996

First Degree Murder

206046

Powers

Gerald

White

9/22/1954

Shelby

4/19/1996

12/14/1998

First Degree Murder

285193

Pruitt

Corinio

Black

5/12/1980

Shelby

8/2/2005

3/1/2008

First Degree Murder

165463

Quintero

Derrick

Hispanic

10/9/1956

Stewart

6/22/1988

12/4/1991

First Degree Murder

144182

Rice

Charles

Black

2/2/1965

Shelby

6/18/2000

1/14/2002

First Degree Murder

110874

Rimmer

Michael

White

3/13/1966

Shelby

2/8/1997

11/9/1998

First Degree Murder

167488

Robinson

Gregory

Black

9/9/1959

Shelby

5/1/1997

11/23/1998

First Degree Murder

234973

Rogers

William

White

3/24/1962

Montgomery

7/8/1996

1/21/2000

First Degree Murder

101945

Sample

Michael

Black

5/23/1956

Shelby

8/29/1981

2/7/1983

Murder 1

149011

Sims

Vincent

Black

11/5/1971

Shelby

4/5/1996

5/1/1998

First Degree Murder

136424

Smith

Oscar

White

3/25/1950

Davidson

10/1/1989

7/26/1990

First Degree Murder

140145

Stephenson

Jonathan

White

6/22/1963

Cocke

12/3/1989

10/19/1990

First Degree Murder

109165

Suttles

Dennis

White

2/26/1952

Knox

3/13/1996

11/4/1997

First Degree Murder

89682

Sutton

Nicholas

White

7/15/1961

Morgan

1/15/1985

3/4/1986

Murder 1

218364

Sutton

Gary

White

3/24/1969

Blount

2/21/1992

9/3/1996

First Degree Murder

206216

Thomas

Andrew

Black

2/24/1973

Shelby

4/21/1997

12/14/2001

First Degree Murder

129356

Tran

Heck

Asian

11/8/1966

Shelby

10/20/1987

8/28/1989

Murder 1

115717

West

Stephen

White

9/16/1962

Union

3/17/1986

3/25/1987

Murder 1

473273

Willis

Howard

White

3/17/51

Washington

10/6/2002

6/21/2010

First Degree Murder

107084

Wright

Charles

Black

2/3/1955

Davidson

7/31/1984

4/5/1985

Murder 1

74368

Young

Leonard

White

1/22/1945

Shelby

11/20/1999

11/8/2002

First Degree Murder

102839

Zagorski

Edmund

White

12/27/1954

Robertson

4/23/1983

3/27/1984

Murder 1

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