With today’s execution of Ricardo Ortiz, 189 people have been executed in Texas since Rick Perry was sworn in as Governor in late December 2000. Perry has been governor for more executions than any other governor in modern times. (Perhaps any U.S. governor ever, but we will have to check the record before 1977).

In fact, the only state that comes close to Texas in total number of executions is Virginia with 102 since 1982, but no single Virginia governor comes remotely close to Perry’s record or George W. Bush’s record when he presided over 152 executions while he was governor.

According to the AP:

the state of Texas has executed a high-ranking prison gang member who was convicted of fatally injecting a fellow prisoner with an overdose of heroin.

Forty-six-year-old Ricardo Ortiz was pronounced dead Thursday at 6:18 p.m.

Ortiz was the second killer executed in Texas in as many nights, and the fifth this year in the nation’s most active death penalty state.

Yesterday, Texas executed Virgil Martinez, 41.

A third scheduled execution was stayed earlier this week by a federal court, after lawyers for Larry Swearingen presented new evidence that case doubt on his guilt.

428 people have now been executed in Texas since 1982 when executions resumed after an 18-year moratorium.

Executions During Tenure of Texas Governor Rick Perry

2001 – 17

2002 – 33

2003 – 24

2004 – 23

2005 – 19

2006 – 24

2007 – 26

2008 – 18

2009 – 5 (As of Jan 29, 2009)

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