But dissent from that societal more is not equally distributed across all groups. On four occasions, the GSS has asked respondents which miscarriage of justice is worse--convicting the innocent or allowing the guilty to go free. Blacks and liberals tilt more heavily in their preference for allowing some guilty people to walk as a cost of ensuring that the innocent aren't convicted (76.3% and 74.9%, respectively, saying that convicting the innocent is worse than letting the guilty off is) than whites and conservatives (71.6% and 70.7%) do.
As Steve Sailer regularly reminds us and the Trayvon Martin case illustrates, though, the "Who? Whom?" question is of paramount importance. In a Florida poll conducted last month, 79% of blacks but only 21% of whites were confident in George Zimmerman's guilt. On the political front, 49% of Democrats and 13% of Republicans asserted that he is guilty of murder. Better lock Zimmerman up to ensure the guilty won't walk!
Getting back to the philosophical, ideological realm, which people hastily evacuate when "Who? Whom?" becomes relevant, it is by intelligence rather than political orientation, sex, or race where divergence in opinion on the question is most pronounced. The percentages of people, by IQ grouping*, who would prefer to see a guilty man let go than an innocent man locked up rather than the other way around:
No, dummy, Barabbas' release wasn't the real tragedy!
GSS variables used: VERDICT, WORDSUM, POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), RACE
* Respondents are broken up into five categories in a way that approximates a normal distribution; Really Smarts (wordsum score of 9-10, comprising 13% of the population), Pretty Smarts (7-8, 26%), Normals (6, 22%), Pretty Dumbs (4-5, 27%), and Real Dumbs (0-3, 12%).