Thesis: Although it is not a perfect solution, the use of death penalty is necessary as a defendant to crime.
I. History of Death Penalty in Texas
A. The method of execution changed
B. Death Penalty came under examination
II. Texas Procedure
A. Capital Offenses
B. Appeals and Clemency
III. Facts of Death Penalty
A.Method of Execution: Lethal Injection
B. Death Penalty vs. Life Sentence
IV. Summary Conclusion
A. Has become a very controversial topic
B. Texas has been number one in executions
Texas has been the state with most executions in all the United States. Death penalty has created a lot of controversy between the people if it is inhumane and cruel, but certainly it helps to put anend to crime.
In Texas death row was located in the East Building of the Huntsville Unit until 1999. Seven death-row inmates attempted to escape, even though six of them were captured and one was found dead. Because of this incident, Texas moved death row to Polunksy Unit, it was considered more secure.
In Texas hanging was the method of execution between 1819 and 1923 and each county wasresponsible for its own executions. The state of Texas authorized in 1923 the use of the electric chair and ordered all executions to be carried out by the State in Huntsville. The first criminal executed by electrocution was Charles Reynolds on February 8, 1924. The last criminal executed by this method was Joseph Johnson on July 30, 1964. The State of Texas electrocuted a total of 361 criminals.(Carson, 2009)
On June 29 1972, the U.S Supreme Court proclaimed that death penalty law was unconstitutional and cruel. There were 52 men on death row in Texas and Governor Preston Smith commuted their punishments to life sentences. In March 1973 death row was clear and juries began imposing death sentences filling up executions again in 1974. The State of Texas adopted lethal injection as a methodof execution. Charlie Brooks was the first criminal executed by this method on December 7 1982.
In 1992 the number of executions increased significantly; an average of fifteen prisoners per year. In 1995, the legislature passed a law demanding certain death row
petitions to be filed intending to reduce the amount of time prisoners spent on death sentence waiting for their legal appeals to bepursued. As a result, from March 1996 to January 1997, there was one execution in Texas.
In 2000, capital punishment came under examination accusing that it was cruel, inhumane and the belief that innocent people were being executed. Texas was especially under inspection because it led the nation in executions and Texas Governor George W. Bush was running for president, and he had won theRepublican Party nomination. The opponents of capital punishment argued that DNA should be retested in cases where defendant`s guilt is in doubt. As a result, in 2001 the legislature of Texas approved a law guaranteeing DNA testing to any inmate whose innocence might be secured as a result. Other concern was whether prisoners who are mentally retarded should be executed. Some states, including Texaspassed laws disapproving the execution of the mentally retarded. However, Governor Rick Perry banned that law declaring that Texas law already protects the mentally retarded from execution, and that juries should be allowed to decide if the criminal deserves the death sentence.
In Texas an individual is condemned to death sentence if:
• He murders a peace officer or fireman in the line of duty• Deliberately commits the murder during kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson
• He murders for a financial gain
• He commits murder during escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution
• He murders an inmate who is serving a life sentence
• He committed multiple murders
• He murders a kid under six years of age
(Texas Department of Criminal...