The majority of Canadians would reinstate capital punishment, according to a new survey.

The Research Co. survey released on Friday shows 54% of Canadians support the idea of bringing back the death penalty as punishment for murder.

“Most supporters of the death penalty believe it will serve as a deterrent,” the survey report said.

While the majority of respondents believe the death penalty will serve as a deterrent for criminals, most prefer to see life imprisonment sentences (53%) as opposed to actually sentencing convicted killers to death (37%).

The majority of death-penalty supporters (55%) said the punishment fits the crime, and half said the death penalty would save Canadian tax dollars by omitting imprisonment costs.

Roughly one-third of Canadians think reinstating the death penalty would be a mistake.

In that group, 66% are worried about courts mistakenly sentencing innocent Canadians to death, and 41% believe murderers should endure a prison sentence. 

As the United States Office of Justice Programs writes, Canadians last issued the death penalty in 1962 to two men convicted of murder.

Fourteen years passed until 1976, when capital punishment underwent a ‘de jure’ abolition – the official ban of a practice which has already been socially and culturally discarded.