Greater support for death penalty among higher educated: Poll

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

SINGAPORE - About 80 per cent of people in Singapore believe that the death penalty should be retained, according to a survey conducted by the Government.

The survey also found out that there was greater support for the death penalty among the higher educated, with 68 per cent of residents with university or postgraduate education saying that they support the death penalty.

Reach - the Singapore Government's citizen-engagement agency - said in a statement today (Oct 6) that a computer-assisted telephone interview poll was conducted between June 13 and 17 this year. A total of 1,160 randomly selected Singapore residents aged 15 or above were polled.

Only 10 per cent of respondents felt that the death penalty should be abolished. The other 10 per cent of respondents either did not give a definite answer, or refused to answer, Reach said.

Graphic: Reach

Reach said that "82 per cent of respondents agreed that the death penalty was an important deterrent that helped keep Singapore safe from serious crimes".


Among those who supported the death penalty, there was higher support for it as the maximum sentence for violent crimes (as high as 81 per cent for murder). Only 67 per cent of respondents think it should be the maximum sentence for drug trafficking.

Close to two-thirds of respondents believed that there were enough safeguards in Singapore to ensure that no person was wrongly sentenced to death, Reach said.

Reach said in the statement "where the sample was not demographically representative of the national population by gender, race, or age, it was weighted accordingly to ensure representativeness". We have reached out to the agency to find out how that was achieved, and will update this article when they reply.

Update: Reach has said that "'Weighting' is a common mathematical process of multiplying a numerical factor to a sample so as to bring it more in line with the population proportions. For e.g. if a particular segment was underrepresented compared to the % of that group based on national population, the weighting will ensure that the actual proportion is similar to the national proportion for that segment."