Donald Trump at his hush money trial
Amid SCOTUS' controversial decision on presidential immunity, a new report shows Americans about evenly split on whether Trump should face time behind bars AFP / Seth Wenig

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that gives Presidents immunity when carrying out "official acts," Americans are about evenly split on whether President Trump should go to jail for his recent felony conviction on hush money charges, a new AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll shows.

The results come from a survey carried out via web or telephone interviews to over 1,000 Americans all over the country. The survey was conducted between June 20-24 of this year.

According to the survey, among U.S. adults, 48% say the former president and presumptive GOP nominee should face prison time, and 50% say he should not. These figures fluctuate depending on the parties they are coming from.

For instance, 86% of Republicans believe Trump should not face time behind bars, as a vast majority of them believe the former president was mistreated by the legal system.

This is a message that has been well-communicated among Republicans and Trump himself since his initial conviction back in May. The group has consistently blamed President Biden for the conviction, alleging he has "weaponized" the justice system to his favor.

"What they've [Democrats] done in this country is unthinkable, and Biden is going to pay a big price for it, I believe," Trump said in an interview at a local radio station in Richmond, Virginia. "Because I think that people are gonna say, 'Well, wow, you've opened up a Pandora's box.' this is a terrible thing that they've opened up. They've unleashed this."

Conversely, a majority of Democrats (78%) believe that Trump should face prison time. They believe the judge and members of the jury treated Trump fairly as a defendant.

Independents, however, remain divided, with about 49% of them believing the former president should go to jail, and 46% saying he should not.

"I don't think the particular crime deserves time," said Christopher Smith, a 43-year-old independent in Tennessee. "I see what he did, lying on business records because of an affair, as more of a moral crime," Smith said, explaining that he believes prison should be a punishment for crimes that involve a convicted person actively harming another person.

The results of the poll show the partisan divide on the case, also highlighting both nominees' focus on the issue, which has been central to both of their campaigns. Along the campaign trail, Biden frequently points out that Trump became the first former president to be convicted of a felony, and Trump argues that Democrats orchestrated the case against him for political purposes.

The study also comes as the Supreme Court ruled in a controversial 6-3 decision that presidents have absolute immunity for exercising their core constitutional powers and are entitled to a presumption of immunity for other official acts.

That decision was a legal win for Trump, several experts in NPR analyze, as it further delays his federal election interference case, ensuring it will not go to trial this year. It also complicates the work of prosecutors in D.C., Florida and Georgia who are working on the other pending criminal cases he is facing. They will have to go through their cases and determine whether Trump does or does not have immunity related to 54 criminal counts he faces in the three remaining cases.

The ruling also affected the hush money case, as it delayed Trump's conviction from July 11 to Sept. 18 at the earliest. The bulk of that case took place before Trump was President, however, some of the evidence against him is from actions after he became president, which can complicate the nature of his conviction.

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