Sen. Bernie Sanders' declaration that he opposes the death penalty in all circumstances puts him in a growing, but still minority, part of the U.S. population.
The recent peak in support for capital punishment came in the mid-1990s, as the public reacted to the sharp increase in crime during the 1970s and 1980s. During Bill Clinton's presidency, roughly 8 in 10 Americans supported the death penalty, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.
Violent crime began to decline in the 1990s, and a few years later support for capital punishment began to fall as well. At this point, a bare majority, 56%, support the death penalty, compared with 38% who oppose it.