Thursday, October 13, 2011

Capital Punishment

At the request of Senator Carona's staff, a few days ago I was privileged to meet with an international group, including members of parliament from Sri Lanka and Nepal. Inevitably, the conversation turned to capital punishment in Texas, and I told them that imposition of the death penalty has gone down fairly dramatically in recent years.  Later on I wanted to fact check myself and asked our amazing Judicial Information manager, Angela Garcia, to run this graph for me from our data.  
In addition to reassuring me that I told them correctly, one thing I find interesting about this graph is the fact that life without parole was not adopted until 2005 (S.B. 60 by Lucio), but the downward trend was well established well before then.  My other thought was, "how much of this trend is driven by Harris County?"  TDCJ's information shows that 106 of 308 offenders on death row are from Harris County. Here is what OCA data shows over time.
Finally, in direct comparison to the first chart, here is what our data shows for Harris County's choice of the death penalty versus other punishment in capital cases.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent work, Carl and Angela! I gave this post some blog love here.