While a majority of Americans still supports the death penalty for those convicted of murder, public opinion on the matter has declined over the past few years, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center poll released Friday.
Fifty five percent of Americans support capital punishment, while 37 percent oppose it, according to the survey. Support has dropped since 2011, however, when 62 percent of the country favored it.
According to Pew, support for the death penalty has shrunk gradually over the past two decades. In 1996, 78 percent supported the death penalty while 18 percent opposed it.
Support for the death penalty is lower among racial minorities. Sixty-three percent of white Americans support the death penalty, while only 36 percent of black adults and 40 percent of Hispanics support it.
Pew surveyed 4,006 adults March 21-April 8 2013.