Elite Versus Citizen Attitudes on Capital Punishment: Incongruity Between the Public and Policymakers
The results of a survey of Tennessee legislators, prosecutors, and public defenders were compared to the results of a general citizen survey to analyze attitudes toward capital punishment in the two groups. The study is a replication of McGarrell and Sandys's study of Indiana legislators, which found some degree of pluralistic ignorance: both legislators and citizens had misperceptions of the other's attitudes. Results suggested that, similar to their Indiana counterparts, Tennessee legislators overestimate the degree of citizen support for the death penalty.
Whitehead, John T.; Blankenship, Michael B.; and Wright, John Paul. 1999. Elite Versus Citizen Attitudes on Capital Punishment: Incongruity Between the Public and Policymakers. Journal of Criminal Justice. Vol.27(3). 249-258. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0047-2352(98)00063-4 ISSN: 0047-2352