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.
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.
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.
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.
Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett has renewed debate about how, and whether, the U.S. should impose the death penalty.
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.
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.
Over the past half-century, public support for the death penalty has generally tracked increases and declines in rates of violent crime.
More than half of Americans favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder, down from 78% in 1996.
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.