There are now more people on death row in Florida (398) than in Texas (392), mostly because Texas has executed 370 people since 1982 and Florida has only executed 64. Right now, of course there is a moratorium on executions in Florida, called by Gov Jeb Bush, because of a botched execution there in December.
Meanwhile, the NY Times says “a legislative commission recommended on Tuesday that New Jersey become the first state to abolish the death penalty since states began reinstating their capital punishment laws 35 years ago. Its report found “no compelling evidence” that capital punishment serves a legitimate purpose, and increasing evidence that it “is inconsistent with evolving standards of decency.”
Executions are on hold in ten states, including Florida, California and Illinois; but in Texas the system rolls on – despite reports that Texas may have executed three innocent people. In January 2007, there are five executions scheduled in Texas. Stay tuned for the release of the next public opinion poll in Texas. It will be interesting to see if the preference for life without parole over the death penalty has increased because of the reports of innocent people being executed.
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