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.