Speaking at a press conference before the committee hearing, Dutton said that, as the death penalty is administered, there’s too great a risk of innocent people being executed along with the guilty.
“This is a system where the wrong person can be arrested. The wrong person can be tried. The wrong person can be convicted. The wrong person can be sentenced,” he said.
Dutton has proposed a bill to eliminate the death penalty in every legislative session since 2003. Farrar has offered one of her own every two years since 2007. Opponents, arguing the death penalty remains an effective deterrent to violent crime, have stymied all efforts to get such a bill to the House floor.
“This bill may not pass this time,” Dutton said. “But if it doesn’t pass this time, we’ll be here next time, fighting the same fight, trying to make sure that Texas gets on the right page when it comes to our criminal justice system.”
The latest bills have just six weeks to make it through both chambers before the current legislative session ends.