Pew Research Center reports and data on capital punishment, including long-term trends on public opinion.
Less Support for Death Penalty, Especially Among Democrats
A majority of Americans favor the death penalty for those convicted of murder, but support is at a 40-year low. Much of the decline in support since the mid-1990s has come among Democrats.
Number of Executions in Each State Since 1977
Use this interactive to see how many executions have occurred in each state in a given year or overall since 1977, the year after the Supreme Court reaffirmed its approval of the death penalty.
Lower support for death penalty tracks with falling crime rates, more exonerations
Over the past half-century, public support for the death penalty has generally tracked increases and declines in rates of violent crime.
All Publications from this Topic
America’s death row population is shrinking
While most Americans continue to favor the death penalty for murder convictions, far fewer people are receiving death sentences than in years past.
2015 is shaping up to be a significant year for religion at the Supreme Court
Here’s a rundown of the Supreme Court’s busy docket, which includes cases on the ACA’s contraception mandate, religion in the workplace, same-sex marriage and the death penalty.
Botched execution in Oklahoma renews death-penalty debate
Oklahoma’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett has renewed debate about how, and whether, the U.S. should impose the death penalty.
Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty
While a majority of U.S. adults still support the death penalty for persons convicted of murder, public support for capital punishment has been ticking downward for the past two decades.
Support for death penalty drops among Americans
More than half of Americans favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder, down from 78% in 1996.
Continued Majority Support for Death Penalty
Public opinion about the death penalty has changed only modestly in recent years, but there continues to be far less support for the death penalty than there was in the mid-1990s.
The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
On the Court’s Docket: Child Rape and the Death Penalty
Is capital punishment for child rapists constitutional? On April 16, the Supreme Court will hear arguments pro and con. A legal expert discusses possible outcomes and implications of the case.
The Death Penalty in America
Religious communities have been deeply involved on both sides of the capital punishment issue. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in a case challenging use of lethal injection, a Pew Forum special report examines the history of the death penalty, arguments before the court and public opinion.