Trinidadians generally favour a discretionary death penalty, the survey showed. The findings showed that a majority of people interviewed did not support the use of the death penalty in all cases involving robbery or drug and gang killings. They preferred to take into account mitigating factors such as age and previous good character. "This suggests that they would be unlikely to favour a mandatory system even for a smaller class of murders defined rigidly by statue such as those involved in the commission of a violent felony," according to the survey.
Reasons for support
The survey found that the reasons for supporting the mandatory death penalty was that premeditated murderers deserve to die and that everyone should be treated equally-"a life for a life."Eighty seven per cent of them said they would support the death penalty even if scientific evidence showed that it was not a more effective deterrent to imprisonment than a long period of imprisonment. When asked what they thought might be the most effective policy for controlling crime, only 36 per cent of those who support the mandatory death penalty favoured a "greater number of executions" as the least likely policy to reduce violent crimes leading to death. For those who support a discretionary system, however, they gave the reason that not all who commit murder "deserve to die." When the supporters of the mandatory or discretionary death penalty were asked whether they would still favour capital punishment if evidence showed that innocent people have sometimes been executed, support was less. Among those who support the mandatory death penalty, support fell from 26.4 per cent to 14.5 per cent of the entire sample.