Apparently people were shocked by the applause here. The only thing that shocked me was that they didn't form a rumba line. It's a Republican debate. And it's America. Perry's right–most people support the death penalty. It's the job of those of us who oppose the death penalty to change that.
The CW has this exchange as Perry's best of the night, and most of the right appears to be with the crowd. K-Lo can barely bring herself to mention the issue, though other Catholic theocons appear to be grappling with it. For Catholics, the blithe dismissal by Perry of any qualms, sleepless nights or doubts in condemning 234 people to death should, in my view, be a salient matter. The Church is clear that there might very very very rarely be an exception that allows for the death penalty; but no theocon can possibly endorse Perry's utter indifference to the gravity of the act, or his refusal to admit that at least one of those executed was an innocent man.
Still, theocons will live with it. If your ultimate goal is power, not truth, you can live with a lot.