Texas executed 13 people this year, which is the lowest number in 15 years since 1996. The highest number of executions was 40 in 2000.
8 people were sentenced to death in 2011 in Texas. Only 6 of the 254 counties in Texas sent anyone to death row in 2011. Harris County sent three people. Travis County, often considered the most progressive county in Texas, once again sent another person to death row this year, just like last year and the year before. All 3 of Travis County’s recent death sentences have come while Rosemary Lehmberg has been District Attorney.
The number of new death sentences has declined over the last several years in large part because people who serve on juries are increasingly choosing life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty, because members of juries have read about so many mistakes in the system when innocent people have been convicted only to be exonerated years later.