One in five Americans say Elizabeth Holmes' sentence was not harsh enough

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
November 23, 2022, 8:18 PM GMT+0

Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of biomedical research company Theranos, was sentenced last week to 11 years and three months in prison for defrauding investors in her business. Most Americans (62%) in the latest Economist/YouGov poll have heard about the high-profile case and sentencing decision.

About two in five Americans (42%) say the sentence is about right, while 19% say it's not harsh enough and 9% consider it to be too harsh of a sentence. There are no significant gender or political differences in how Americans view the sentence, and parents (44%) are also more likely than not to say the sentence length for Holmes — who is pregnant with her second child — is about right. Among parents, 13% say the sentence is too harsh and 15% say it's not harsh enough.

About half of Americans have no opinion of Holmes (48%), but people who do have an opinion view her unfavorably by a ratio of more than two to one, or 36% to 16%. Democrats and adults under 45 are more likely than Republicans, Independents, and older adults to have any opinion at all of her — and far more likely to have a favorable one.

– Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article

Polling by the Economist/YouGov was conducted on November 19 - 22, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Getty Images (Justin Sullivan)

Explore more data & articles