The Dallas Morning News is again calling for a moratorium on executions in today’s newspaper. Texas Moratorium Network plans to be at the capitol again in the next few weeks talking with legislators to drum up new support for a moratorium. We support achieving a moratorium by one of two ways, 1) passing a version of a bill that has been filed by Rep Dutton since 2001 which would enact a moratorium by amending the criminal code by passage of a bill or ) achieving a moratorium by letting the voters of Texas decide on a constitutional amendment, which is an approach that has been filed in the past by different legislators.

Here is an excerpt from the DMN editorial today:

Calling a moratorium on executions.

This has been our call for some time. Considering the sobering questions that have been raised across the state, it is appropriate for lawmakers to give themselves time to take a fresh look at capital punishment.

We’re not naive about the Legislature’s willingness to take on the subject, since it would be politically costly to look “soft on crime.” We’re looking for political courage, though. We’re looking for leadership that’s unafraid to call for debate and thoughtful review on life-and-death issues.DEATH NO MORE

• Texas has executed 402 people since capital punishment was reinstated nationally 21 years ago. That is four times the number of the second-most-active state, Virginia.

• Texas’ per capita execution rate is second only to Oklahoma’s.

• 374 people are now waiting on death row in Texas, including 364 men in Livingston and 10 women in Gatesville

• 22 men have been executed this year; five more are scheduled to die in September.

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