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March 12, 2009

Noting the quicker pace of executions in Texas

As detailed in this AP story, Texas executed on Wednesday its second defendant is as many nights, bringing its total number of executions for 2009 up to 12.  And, reporting on a trend I have been noting in prior posts, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has this article headlined "Texas on pace to execute far more in 2009."  Here are snippets:

As states debate whether to stop executing criminals, Texas – long the nationwide leader in executions – has picked up the pace and is on a rate to execute perhaps twice as many Death Row inmates this year as in 2008.... 

Since 1976, there have been 432 executions in Texas, far more than in Virginia, which had the second highest number of executions with 103, according to the Death Penalty Information Center....  There are 348 inmates on Death Row in Texas, including 24 convicted in Tarrant County, state records show....

President Barack Obama has indicated he favors executions only in the most extreme cases, but he hasn’t publicly focused much on the issue. But he could have a big impact through the years, by appointing judges to federal courts who will weigh in on the issue.... 

Executions were down last year because the U.S. Supreme Court halted executions between September 2007 and April 2008 to review whether lethal injections were unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. Once the hold was removed, Texas executed 18 Death Row inmates in the last eight months of the year.  Virginia had the second most executions last year, with four.

March 12, 2009 at 09:13 AM | Permalink

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