Journal article Open Access

Police v Capital Punishment

Monica Semrad; Bridie Scott-Parker; Michael Nagel

This paper compares the personality traits of experienced Australian Police officers, as scored by the HEXACO, to their opinions regarding capital punishment. Results indicated that while experienced Australian Police opinions regarding the death penalty were overwhelmingly different to the opinions of United States of America (US) and United Kingdom (UK) police officers, with 81.1% of Australian police opposing the death penalty, Australian Police personality traits were consistent with Canadian and Dutch police (i.e., higher in Honesty Humility, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, and lower in Emotionality than the general population samples). The findings challenge traditional views regarding police being prejudicial and severe. The paper recommends recruitment of police officers from more diverse groups to better represent the community they serve.

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