Twenty years ago, most politicians in both parties supported the death penalty. But today, opposition to it has become increasingly bipartisan.
Democrats have always been more wary, but now more conservatives have also become convinced that capital punishment is another failed government program. In part, that's because the legal process for such cases is enormously expensive, even though few executions are ever carried out.
“When you look at how much money we’re spending, no one looks at that and thinks the death penalty works fine,” says Hannah Cox, national manager for Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a pro-abolition group. “We’re seeing a real escalation as far as the number of Republican legislators who are sponsoring repeal bills.”