Texas Is a Trendsetter in Executions, But Not for the Reason You Think

Texas is a trendsetter when it comes to executions. And unlike most years, it isn't because the state executed the most people this year.It didn’t. Georgia claims that title with nine. Texas was second with seven.Why? Texas legislative reforms are giving prisoners more chances to have the courts review their sentences. This translates to fewer executions as the courts grant more stays of execution while the wheels of justice grind.The reforms “put Texas ahead of most states” for allowing prisoners increased access to the courts, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center, which gathers nationwide statistics.Dunham said he believes other states are executing people who would be granted stays if their laws allowed the courts to step in as they do in Texas. He said Texas is trying to make up for “judicial mistakes in recent decades.”  Continue reading...

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