The Death Penalty

Is the public turning against it?


Federal executions are scheduled to resume in December. The decision runs counter to long-term trends against capital punishment in the states and puts President Trump at odds with the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination. At the Supreme Court, Trump’s two appointees have tilted the court toward the death penalty. But states continue to abolish or narrow the application of capital punishment, and some local prosecutors have refused to seek the death penalty or have asked courts to rule it unconstitutional. Some states have curtailed executions because of difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs. And polls show public backing for the death penalty is declining, although a majority of U.S. adults continue to support it.

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