More than a third of the states that allow executions haven’t carried one out in at least 10 years or, in some cases, much longer.
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.
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, 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 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.
Just five states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Texas – accounted for all 20 executions in the U.S. in 2016.
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.
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.
While most Americans continue to favor the death penalty for murder convictions, far fewer people are receiving death sentences than in years past.
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.