A number of representative polls have been conducted on the death penalty in recent decades. There were some surveys whose authors were interested not only in the percentage of supporters and opponents of the death penalty, but also in whether this rate varies in different strata of society. Several polls were conducted, in which, in addition to socio-cultural factors, respondents were asked about their general attitudes and some research was also conducted in order to uncover the reasons behind the responses of the interviewees. From all of this, one can gain a clear picture as regards the socio-cultural characteristics of people in general, who are more in favour of the death penalty, as well as regarding what general ttitudes respondents have and for what reasons they formed their views. The subsequent presentation of the Hungarian surveys will help one to see whether distance in time affects the perception of the social need for capital punishment, and how such need changes over time. Overall, the aim of this study is to present a comprehensive human approach to the death penalty; that is, the goal is not to examine
how many people have supported or opposed the death penalty in a particular country in a given period of time, but to find out what factors influence commitment to or against capital punishment and the causes thereof, and what factors can change people’s attitudes towards the death penalty.