Hector Medina was sentenced to death in 2008 after killing his two young children. Now, he's getting a new sentencing trial because his lawyer refused to present evidence to persuade jurors to opt for the lesser sentence of life without parole.
Duane Buck, whose death sentence in a 1995 double slaying was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court after allegations of racist testimony from an expert witness, had his sentence reduced to life in prison Tuesday.
A man convicted in the sexual assault and murder of an 11-year-old girl was set to die next Wednesday. But the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stopped his execution amid claims of intellectual disability.
Thirty-five years ago today, the state of Utah restarted the death penalty in the United States when Gary Gilmore was executed. Texas followed suit in 1982 and since then has executed 477 men and women, more than any other state.
Leading a national downward trend in the use of the death penalty, Texas has executed just 13 prisoners so far in 2011, the lowest number in more than a decade. And juries meted out only eight new death sentences.
Texas ranks third in the number of exonerations in the United States since 1989, according to data compiled by Mother Jones. Take a look at how Texas compares to other states across the nation with this map.