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Home > Trend Watch > 2014 > March 31 > Is the Death Penalty Dying?

Trend Watch

Perspective on the buzz

Not yet, but majority support for capital punishment in the U.S. among religious groups is declining.

According to Pew:

Since 1996, the margin between those who favor the death penalty and those who oppose it has narrowed from a 60-point gap (78% favor vs. 18% oppose) to an 18-point difference in 2013 (55% favor vs. 37% oppose).
Among most large U.S. religious groups, majorities support capital punishment. Roughly six-in-ten or more white evangelical Protestants (67%), white mainline Protestants (64%) and white Catholics (59%) express support for the death penalty.
By contrast, black Protestants are more likely to say they oppose the death penalty than support it (58% vs. 33%), as are Hispanic Catholics (54% vs. 37%).
The differences among religious groups reflect the overall racial and ethnic picture on support for capital punishment. Twice as many white Americans favor the death penalty as oppose it (63% vs. 30%). Among black adults, the balance of opinion is reversed: 55% oppose capital punishment, while 36% support it. The margin is narrower among Hispanics, but more oppose the death penalty (50%) than support it (40%).

As societal trends and opinions shift, it's vital to understand how these numbers impact your congregation's opinions and insights into the justice conversation.

Related Topics:ResearchTrends
Posted: March 31, 2014; All posts for week of March 31, 2014

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