Pew Research Center reports and data on capital punishment, including long-term trends on public opinion.

ReligionFebruary 12, 2014

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.

U.S. PoliticsJanuary 6, 2012

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.

November 3, 2011

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.

ReligionSeptember 17, 2010

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.

ReligionApril 4, 2008

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.

ReligionDecember 19, 2007

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.

U.S. PoliticsOctober 15, 2007

Trends in Attitudes Toward Religion and Social Issues: 1987-2007

As the ’08 elections approach, what are the views of Republicans, Democrats and the general public on “social values” issues? And how have they changed over time?

Pew Research CenterSeptember 26, 2007

Lethal Injection Goes on Trial, But Goes On

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on a case brought by two Kentucky prisoners, who argue that the state’s lethal injection drug regimen exposes inmates to illegal cruel and unusual punishment. But – to the disappointment of death-penalty opponents – the use of lethal injection continues.

ReligionJune 27, 2007

Capital Punishment’s Constant Constituency: An American Majority

Beginning with its temporary moratorium on the death penalty 35 years ago this month, the Supreme Court has changed its view of capital punishment more than once. The public, however, has not.

Pew Research CenterMarch 21, 2007

Death Penalty on Hold

After 897 executions by lethal injection over the past 25 years, the role of doctors in carrying out the death penalty is surfacing as the latest ethical issue to force a re-examination of capital punishment in the United States.