By Scott Rothschild
Topeka - Most Kansans would support alternatives to the death penalty, according to a poll released Monday that was commissioned by a group seeking a ban on capital punishment.
"There is not an overwhelming support for the death penalty where there is an alternative available," said Ben Coats, with the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty.
The poll of 500 frequent voters showed that nearly two-thirds of Kansans would prefer a sentence of life in prison without parole in which the inmate would work in prison to pay restitution to the families of their victims.
The poll also found that many Kansans thought capital punishment was handed out unfairly.
Fifty-seven percent of Kansans believe that some people are executed while others serve prison terms for the same type of offense.
The poll was conducted Jan. 20-21 by Jayhawk Consulting Service. The survey has a plus or minus margin of error of four percent.
The death penalty in Kansas was reinstated in 1935, repealed again in 1972 and finally reinstated in 1994.
Since the death penalty was last reinstated in Kansas, there have been 10 death sentences but no executions. One sentence was removed by the prosecutor's request and two have been vacated by the Kansas Supreme Court.
- Staff writer Scott Rothschild can be reached at 785-354-4222