A lot of heat and controversy surrounds capital punishment in today’s society. The death penalty was built into the Texas justice system in 1835 and has retained most of its strength compared to the rest of the states. The famous motto “Don’t Mess with Texas” stands true when concerning the death penalty; In Kenneth William’s article, “Texas: Tough on Murderers or on Fairness?.” Williams states, “No one promotes this message [Don’t Mess with Texas] more than Texas prosecutors with their use of the death penalty. While the nation as a whole has become somewhat ambivalent about capital punishment, Texas prosecutors continue to seek death sentences on a regular basis, and the state carries out more executions than any other.” With this bold statement about capital punishment in Texas, Scott Vollum, Dennis R Longmire and Jacqueline Buffington-Vollum in their article, “Confidence in the Death Penalty and Support for its Use: Exploring the Value –Expressive Dimension of Death Penalty Attitudes”, found that “Surprisingly, in spite of the overwhelming support for the death penalty, 64% of respondents supported a moratorium and 48% indicated little or no confidence in the death penalty system.” Morgan Renyolds argues in her article, “The Death Penalty: Fair and Effective in Texas” that “All murders are not the same event. Executions are saved for the worst and serve obvious utilitarian ends.” She states that the death penalty is only used in the most severe cases and is necessary to deter crime. With Texas seemingly at odds with the rest of the nation concerning the issue of the death penalty, I will discuss the effects of the death penalty in Texas and explore if it has produced positive results in diminishing crime.
Review of Literature
In Keith Price and Gary Byrd’s article, “Capital Punishment in Texas and California: A Comparison”, they open stating that Texas actively institutes the use of death penalty...