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Rob Spencer prays as New Hampshire lawmakers debate prior to a death penalty vote at the State House in Concord, N.H., on Thursday. The legislature abolished capital punishment by overriding a veto by Gov. Chris Sununu. Charles Krupa/AP hide caption

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Charles Krupa/AP

Amid controversy and criticism from religious groups on the right and left about their decisions in recent death penalty cases, the U.S. Supreme Court's five-man majority is striking back. Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

Death penalty opponent Herve Deschamps holds a sign during a vigil outside St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis, hours before the 2014 scheduled execution of death row inmate Russell Bucklew. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

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Jeff Roberson/AP

Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign an order on Wednesday imposing a moratorium on California's death penalty. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Gov. Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty In California

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Vernon Madison was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of a Mobile, Ala., police officer. Alabama Department of Corrections via AP hide caption

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Alabama Department of Corrections via AP

This undated photo shows the death chamber at the Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, Ga. Public support for the death penalty has declined sharply in the past two decades, according to polls. Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images hide caption

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Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

"We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance," the state's supreme court justices wrote in a majority opinion. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Ted S. Warren/AP

Walter Leroy Moody, seen in a photo provided by the Alabama Department of Corrections, targeted the NAACP and the federal court system with bombs in 1989. Alabama Department of Corrections via AP hide caption

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Alabama Department of Corrections via AP