What seemed unimaginable a decade ago, namely, the abolition of the death penalty in the United States, today seems well within the horizon of possibility. Indeed, supporters of capital punishment now seem to be very much on the defensive. To take but one example, in April 2005, then Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney filed a long-awaited bill to reinstate the death penalty in his state. The bill, which Romney called “a model for the nation” and the “gold standard” for capital punishment legislation, was remarkable for its hesitations and qualifications. Thus, it limited death eligibility to a narrow set of crimes, including deadly acts of terrorism, killing sprees, murders involving torture, and the killing of law enforcement authorities. It excluded entire categories of crimes that many believe also warrant the death penalty, including the murders of children and the rape-murders of women. It also laid out a set of hurdles for meting out capital punishment sentences, in an effort to neutralize the kind of problems that have led to dozens of death row exonerations across the nation in recent years. The measure called for verifiable scientific evidence, such as DNA, to be required before a defendant can be sentenced to death, and a tougher standard of “no doubt” of guilt (rather than the typical “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” standard) for juries to sentence defendants to death. The limited nature of Romney's bill, which nonetheless ultimately was defeated in the Massachusetts legislature, provides one vivid sign that the tide has turned in the national conversation about capital punishment.