The margin between Americans who support the death penalty and those who oppose it has shrunk by more than two-thirds in less than 20 years.
That's just one takeaway from new data out today from the Pew Research Center on the death penalty in America. Others include a stark divide along racial and ethnic lines among religious groups:
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%).
After the jump, three charts on the death penalty:
The state of Tennessee plans to execute convicted murderer Nickolus Johnson on April 22.