M O R E than 40 years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Furman v. Georgia (1972)—the ruling that temporarily halted capital punishment in the United States-about 60 percent of adult Americans indicate that they favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder.2 This level of support is substantially lower than the 80 percent that favored the death penalty in a 1994 poll, which was the highest level of support for the death penalty in more than 75 years of scientific opinion polling.3 However, it is considerably higher than in 1966-the year that death penalty support fell to 42 percent, its lowest level ever.4 In 1994, only 16 percent of respondents opposed the death penalty and 4 percent had no opinion; in 1966, 47 percent of respondents opposed the death penalty and 11 percent had no opinion. In no year for which polls are available has a majority of Americans opposed capital punishment.