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Death Row Sentencing In Texas Has Significantly Decreased

Texas carried out its 5th execution of the year last night, but overall executions are dwindling, and that trend is likely to continue.

Last year, Texas executed seven inmates on death row.

That was the lowest number in the past 20 years.

Kristin Houle suggests that the state will keep following that trend.

She is with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

“Well, Texas like the rest of the United States has been experiencing a steady decline in use of the death penalty,” Houle says.

This decline can be attributed, in part to sentencing.

Houle says there is a big difference from 1999 when Texas peaked at sentencing 48 people to death row and only sentencing three in the past two years.

She says what’s led to the decrease in sentencing is cases being put on hold and advancements in forensic science.

“Where the science that was presented at the original trial has been called into question or even debunked,” Houle says.

Although, executions are decreasing in the U.S., she says Texas continues to account for about a third of them.

“This year so far Texas has carried out five of the 16 executions nationwide,” Houle says.

In the state, there are 5 more executions scheduled for this year.

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