Texas continues to execute people in the highest numbers in the nation. But new death sentences are a different matter, reported the Dallas Morning News. So far this year, not one death sentence has been handed down among Texas’ 254 counties.
That’s an astounding statistic considering Texas’ history with the death penalty. In 1994, death sentences in Texas reached an annual high of 49. It has now been more than six months since jurors in Texas imposed a new death sentence. The last person sentenced to death was Eric Williams, on December 17, 2014.
This is the first time in at least 20 years that the state has gone more than six months without a new death sentence. And, according to Kathryn Kase at Texas Defender Service, it’s also the longest Texas has gone in a calendar year without a new death sentence. Overall, new death sentences in Texas have declined nearly 80% since 1999.
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