Houston Matters

Why Texas Leads the Nation in Executions

Pending a last-minute stay, on Wednesday of next week, Kimberly McCarthy will be executed. The Hunt County, Texas native was sentenced to death for the brutal murder of a 70 year old Lancaster, Texas woman in 1997. Her execution will be the 500th by the state of Texas in the modern death-penalty era. That’s, by […]

Pending a last-minute stay, on Wednesday of next week, Kimberly McCarthy will be executed. The Hunt County, Texas native was sentenced to death for the brutal murder of a 70 year old Lancaster, Texas woman in 1997. Her execution will be the 500th by the state of Texas in the modern death-penalty era. That's, by far, more than any other U.S. state, and it reinforces how Texas stands in contrast to recent trends in other states. While 32 U.S. states carry out executions, of the 18 that do not, six have struck down the death penalty, by vote or court ruling, in just the last six years.

Texas has long had a reputation for being the most willing state to put convicted murderers to death. Conventional wisdom suggests that's not likely to change. What does it say about us that we have that reputation? Are attitudes in Houston any different? Does it give you pause that Texas is about to execute its 500th prisoner since 1982? Craig Cohen talks with Dudley Sharp, a victims' rights advocate who tracks legislation related to capital punishment, and has spoken out over the years in favor of it…and Pat Monks, a local criminal defense attorney and a member of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty. He's also on the board of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

 

Listen

Share