Facts & Research

New Voices

Individuals from across the political spectrum have voiced growing concerns about the death penalty, questioning not only the morality of capital punishment but whether the government can be trusted to fairly and accurately apply it. Many of these new voices bring new and non-traditional perspectives to the death-penalty debate.

In the 1990s, the Gallup Poll measured support for the death penalty in the United States at 80%. Since then it has fallen into the mid 50%s. The death penalty has long been opposed by human rights and civil rights activists, who question whether capital punishment can be applied fairly and whether the risks of executing innocent people are too great, and by those who consider it morally wrong for the government to take the life of a prisoner who has already been incapacitated by incarceration. But a growing number of non-traditional voices have raised new concerns about the death penalty, questioning its cost, its ineffectiveness in protecting the public and police, the disservice it does to family members of murder victims, its inconsistency with a pro-life ethic and the values of limited government, and whether the money spent on the death penalty could be used more effectively. These new voices represent a variety of perspectives, from judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement veterans to legislators, academics, spiritual leaders, and murder victims’ families.

News & Developments

Recent Legislative Activity

Jun 02, 2023

Conservative Commentator Warns of Dangers of Non-Unanimous Death Sentences

Florida’s recent deci­sion to allow death sen­tences with­out a unan­i­mous jury rec­om­men­da­tion increas­es the risk of exe­cut­ing an inno­cent per­son, accord­ing to con­ser­v­a­tive com­men­ta­tor Christian Schneider (pic­tured). In a May 25, 2023 col­umn for Th…

Victims' Families

May 30, 2023

Victims’ Families are Divided Over Death Penalty as Bowers Trial Begins

On May 25, 2023, 12 death-qual­i­fied jurors and six alter­nates were select­ed in the fed­er­al cap­i­tal tri­al of Robert Bowers, who is charged with killing 11 wor­ship­pers at a Pittsburgh syn­a­gogue in 2018. Prosecutors struck all the Black, Hispanic, an…


May 23, 2023

The Lancet Editorial: Physician Involvement in Executions Violates Medical Ethics

A May 20, 2023 edi­to­r­i­al in a lead­ing med­ical aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nal con­cludes that physi­cian par­tic­i­pa­tion in exe­cu­tions goes against the eth­i­cal foun­da­tion of the physi­cian’s role” and argues that doc­tors and med­ical asso­ci­a­tions should oppose capita…