This article compares attitudes toward capital punisunent in the united states and in europe. Views on the death penalty in the netherlands are discussed, and similarities are drawn with opinions held throughout western europe. Data from several nations are compared, and the article examines why some countries retain the death penalty while most do not. The authors conclude that differences across countries may be explained by different political stuctue. Specifically, countries with two political parties are more likely to retain the death penalty than countries with multiple political parties.