Comment Rescue: Texas and the Death Penalty

On my recent post against the death penalty, commenter Patrick made the following point which I found interesting:

A lot of people don’t understand why we have so many executions in Texas. It’s isn’t a brutal “law and order” mentality.

Here’s the problem: Texas law does not allow for a “true” life sentence. Juries can sentence someone to life; but they are also instructed that the killer may be paroled anyway, based on what a state board decides.

So jurors sentence many people to death not because they want them dead, but because it is the only way to be sure they stay locked up forever. If we had a life w/o parole option, I think the trend here would match that in other states.

I hadn’t known that about Texas law. I wonder why they don’t fix that.

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