Pew Research Center reports and data on capital punishment, including long-term trends on public opinion.
Where the public stands on key issues that could come before the Supreme Court
Ahead of the Senate’s deliberations over Kavanaugh, here’s a look at where the public stands on some of the major legal, political and social issues that could come before the Supreme Court in the years ahead.
11 states that have the death penalty haven’t used it in more than a decade
All 10 states that have the death penalty but haven’t used it in at least a decade currently have inmates on death row, though the number ranges from just one prisoner in New Hampshire and Wyoming to 744 in California.
5 facts about the death penalty
Pope Francis has changed the Catholic Church’s teaching to fully oppose the death penalty. Read key facts about the death penalty in the U.S. and abroad.
Public support for the death penalty ticks up
Public support for the death penalty, which reached a four-decade low in 2016, has increased somewhat since then. Since 2016, opinions among Republicans and Democrats have changed little, but the share of independents favoring the death penalty has increased 8 percentage points.
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.