"Good OI' Boys" and the Chair: Death Penalty Attitudes of Policy Makers in Tennessee

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This report is a summary of a survey of Tennessee chief prosecutors (district attorneys general), chief public defenders, and state legislators concerning their attitudes toward capital punishment. Global approval was compared with (1) approval when offered the options of life without parole and (2) life without parole and restitution to the victim's family. Additional items probed approval of capital punishment for specific subpopulations: juvenile, mentally ill, and mentally retarded offenders. Consistent with previous research, support for the death penalty declined when respondents were given the option of life without parole. A concluding note is offered calling for more complete research on the issue.