This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case involving whether Oklahoma’s lethal injection methods amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Although there have been fewer executions in recent years than there were in the 1990s, 32 states still have the death penalty on their books, as does the federal government. Here are five facts about the issue:
1Support has fallen, but a majority of Americans still back the death penalty. A Pew Research Center poll published this month finds that 56% favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder, while 38% oppose it. But support is as low as it’s been in 40 years. Much of the decline in support over the past two decades has come among Democrats. Currently, just 40% of Democrats favor the death penalty, while 56% are opposed. Republican support for the death penalty (77%) has changed less dramatically. Read More →
Category: 5 Facts
From this month’s death of a 25-year-old black man in Baltimore while in police custody to the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., last August, race and community relations have become the focal point of tension in a series of incidents over the past year.
One constant serving as a backdrop to the discussions about policing is how differently the issue is viewed by blacks and whites.
Pew Research Center polling has consistently found that blacks and whites have very different views about many aspects of race overall — from confidence in the police to progress on racial equality. For example, 48% of whites said a lot of progress has been made since 1963, compared with 32% of blacks, according to a 2013 survey conducted just before the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington. Read More →
The Mexican government has deported a record number of Central American children traveling without a guardian since last fall, which President Obama and other U.S. officials say has contributed to a significant drop in children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mexico’s 3,819 deportations of unaccompanied minors from Central America during the first five months of the fiscal year represent a 56% increase over the same period a year earlier, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Mexican and U.S. government data. The stepped up security was a result of a plan by Mexican officials to address the record surge in child migrants last year.
Overall, U.S. officials apprehended 12,509 unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border in the first five months of the fiscal year that began in October, down from 21,403 over the same time period a year ago. (Most children apprehended during this fiscal year — 7,771 — came from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, with nearly all of the rest coming from Mexico.) Read More →
Bruce Jenner first became famous by winning the gold in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Olympics, but in a recent interview with ABC News, he transformed his fame into something else — immediately raising the visibility of transgender adults in America. By one reputable estimate, transgender adults represent about 0.3% of the U.S. adult population, and about 5% of the adult lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population identifies primarily as transgender.
In 2013, Pew Research Center surveyed more than 1,100 LGBT adults to better understand their views and experiences. Among the 43 transgender respondents we interviewed, most said they first felt their gender was different from their birth sex before puberty. For many, being transgender is a core part of their overall identity, even if they may not widely share this fact about themselves with many people in their lives. Read More →
For nearly all of the past three decades, Americans have looked somewhat more favorably upon labor unions than unfavorably, according to Pew Research Center polling. In a new survey, for instance, nearly half of Americans (48%) held favorable views of unions, versus 39% who had unfavorable views. But those fairly benign views come as union membership continues to plummet, with certain job categories hit particularly hard. Read More →
Topics: Business and Labor
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in Obergefell v. Hodges, a landmark case that will determine whether the Constitution guarantees gay and lesbian couples the same right to marry as opposite-sex couples. The case, which will probably be decided in June, likely will hinge on whether a majority of justices believe that the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry.
Here are five key facts about same-sex marriage: Read More →
Category: 5 Facts
A humanitarian crisis is developing in Europe as refugees traveling through Libya and other countries seek to enter the European Union via the Mediterranean Sea, resulting in a tragic loss of life for those on overcrowded boats. Most people are fleeing countries in the Middle East and Africa, either because of civil war (Syria and Libya), poverty (sub-Saharan Africa) or other domestic troubles.
But two surveys last year of Europeans show that many, especially Greeks, Italians and others in the continent’s south, hold negative views of immigrants and are concerned about new arrivals from outside the EU.
The expected growth of Islam around the world is perhaps the most striking finding in the recent Pew Research Center report projecting the future of religious groups. Indeed, Muslims will grow more than twice as fast as the overall world population between 2010 and 2050 and, in the second half of this century, will likely surpass Christians as the world’s largest religious group.
While the world’s population is projected to grow 35% in the coming decades, the number of Muslims is expected to increase by 73% – from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion in 2050. In 2010, Muslims made up 23.2% of the global population. Four decades later, they are expected to make up about three-in-ten of the world’s people (29.7%).
By 2050, Muslims will be nearly as numerous as Christians, who are projected to remain the world’s largest religious group at 31.4% of the global population.
As the 2016 presidential field starts to take shape, many on the Republican side are pitching themselves squarely to the most conservative wing of the GOP. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, in particular, has argued that the key to Republican victory next year will be nominating someone – presumably himself – who can inspire “millions of courageous conservatives” to vote. Read More →
America’s complicated, conflicted relationship with the death penalty is once more in the news, for a couple of reasons. First, the penalty phase for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began this week. Although Massachusetts abolished capital punishment in 1984, Tsarnaev is being tried in federal court, where the death penalty is still an option for more than 40 federal crimes. Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Glossip v. Gross, in which three prisoners on Oklahoma’s death row are challenging the constitutionality of that state’s three-drug execution protocol.
While a majority of Americans continue to favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder – 56%, according to a new Pew Research Center survey – far fewer people are receiving death sentences nowadays than in years past. As a result, fewer U.S. prisoners are facing the possibility of execution than at any time in the past two decades.