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An Eye for an Eye View of the Death Penalty
There are thirty-eight states in the United States currently using the death penalty and twelve without this form of punishment. What does the death penalty accomplish? Does the death penalty really work? It does work, however, in a very inefficient manner. We will go through facts about the Texas Death Penalty, the process of the death penalty from the time of conviction to the time of execution and finally an explanation of how I feel the penalty could be more efficient.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website Death Row page, retrieved August 08, 2007 from http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/drowfacts.htm,(1) a person must commit a capital murder offense in order to be sentenced to death; such as murder of a public safety officer or firefighter, murder during the commission of a felony, murder of a correctional employee or murder by an offender serving a life sentence for one of the five offences, (murder, capital murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault or aggravated robbery, a person committing multiple murders or the murder of a child under the age of six is also eligible to receive the death penalty, Texas Penal Code 19.03(2).
Following the approval of a Texas law that speeds up the appeals process for condemned inmates, the state carried out 24 executions in the first half of 1997, breaking its own record of 20 in the entire year of 1935. Of the 3000 plus men living on death row in the United States an average of 400 of them live on Texas Death Row.
200 people have been released from Texas Death Row either commuted to a life sentence, to a lesser charge or to freedom based on new DNA testing availabilities and technology.