Pew Research Center reports and data on capital punishment, including long-term trends on public opinion.
5 facts about the death penalty
As the debate over the death penalty continues in the U.S. and worldwide, here are five facts about the issue.
Obama used clemency power more often than any president since Truman
Obama granted clemency to more people than any U.S. president in 64 years, but he also received far more requests than any president on record.
U.S. ends year with fewest executions since 1991
Just five states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Texas – accounted for all 20 executions in the U.S. in 2016.
Support for death penalty lowest in more than four decades
The share of Americans who support the death penalty for persons convicted of murder is now at its lowest point in more than four decades.
Some major U.S. religious groups differ from their members on the death penalty
Many large religious groups have taken positions in opposition to the death penalty even though that stance is sometimes at odds with the opinions of their adherents.
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.
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.
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.
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.