History of Death Penalty in Texas

Topics: Death Penalty, Prison, Death row Pages: 6 (2408 words) Published: December 5, 2010
History of the Death Penalty in Texas
During the historical era in the state of Texas, the use of the death penalty was common and frequent; before 1923 districts carried out executions themselves, in the form of hanging. However in 1923 the state of Texas prepared every execution to be carried out by the state in Huntsville using the electric chair as the method of execution. The state of Texas put to death their first prisoner by electrocution on February 8, 1924 and there were four more executions following the very first one on that date. The inmates that were sentenced to death and the areas that the executions were taken place were located in the Huntsville division from 1928 to 1965, and the last electrocution was carried out on July 30, 1964. This state electrocuted a sum of 361 inmates from 1924 to 1964. During the changes and views on capital punishment in the year of 1964, there were legal disputes regarding the death penalty that resulted in the de facto moratorium on executions in the United States. During these challenging times on June 29, 1972 in the case of Furman v. Georgia the United States Supreme Court ruled that each states capital punishment law in the U.S. was illicit since the death penalty was unjustly used and arbitrarily assigned. During that time there were 52 men in Texas awaiting execution, however the governor overturned all their sentences to life in prison and there wasn’t anyone left on death row by March of 1973. Even though death row was cleared and the inmates received life sentences, the state of Texas approved a new statue in1973 to regulate how capital punishment was assessed. In 1974 with the new statue, jurors began enforcing death sentences and the number of death row inmates began to increase once again. In 1977 Texas implemented lethal injection as a form of execution and the first lethal injection was administered on December 7, 1982. Even though executions were put on hold for awhile they resumed in 1982. The following year there weren’t any administered, however throughout the next eight years there were an average of five executions a year. Over the next century 43 prisoners died by execution. In 1989, the United States Supreme Court agreed that in the case of Penry v. Lynough jurors are permitted to think about justifying facts, for example mental retardation and child abuse, when enforcing capital punishment. A number of inmates were vacated as an effect of this choice. The Texas legislature revised the sentencing instructions given to jurors in 1991, ending in a three-question format and its used present day. In 1992, the rate of executions increased rapidly and over the next four years there were 62 inmates executed which means on average there were fifteen executions per year. In 1995 the Texas legislature approved a regulation that required certain death-row appeals to be organized at the same time. The reason for this was to minimize the time that inmates exhausted on death row awaiting appeals, the effect of this caused executions to cease while being appealed. During the months that followed, March 1996 to January 1997 there was only one inmate executed. Although the laws were challenged, once everything resumed, over the next three years 92 executions took place. In 1998 seven prisoners that were serving death sentences attempted to escaped the prison and all except one inmate was captured. This particular inmate was already wounded when fled the grounds and a couple weeks later he was found dead in the Trinity River. In the year of 2000 there were quite of few issues that came under inspection regarding the death penalty. It was said that capital punishment was unkind, unjust to minorities, and it led the country in executions, which means Texas executed more people than all the other 37 states with the death penalty combined. With these outrageous numbers there was a component available that wasn’t available prior to these executions; it was the advancement in...
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