Executions, Death Sentences Drop in Texas, Nation

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Texas executed just 13 prisoners in 2011 (as of mid-December), the lowest number in more than a decade. And juries doled out only eight new death sentences this year, the same low figure as in 2010 – down from a high of 48 in 1999, according to information released Thursday by the Texas Defender Service.

“These numbers show that Texans have a growing discomfort with the chronic problems that infect the death penalty system, including the risk of convicting an innocent person, the costs, and its disproportionate use against people of color,” said Kathryn Kase, interim executive director of the Texas ...

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