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The New Yorker: ‘The death penalty is withering’

Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin

From Jeffrey Toobin’s excellent New Yorker article, “Danalynn Recer and the Death Penalty in Texas“:

The death penalty is withering, even in Texas. In the nineteen-nineties, juries in the United States handed down about three hundred death sentences per year; in 2010 there were only a hundred and fourteen. There were ninety-eight executions in 1999 and only forty-six last year. Earlier this year, Illinois became the sixteenth state to ban executions. The change has been especially striking in Houston, which has long reigned as the death-penalty capital of the nation. If Harris County, which includes Houston and its nearby suburbs, were a state, it would trail only the rest of Texas for the number of people executed. But last year prosecutors in Harris County sent only two people to death row.

Toobin’s entire article on the practice of Recer and other mitigators demands a read.

Photo: Courtesy CNN

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