Nearly 235 executions have occurred while Rick Perry has been governor of Texas, a tally higher than any governor in modern history, The Washington Post
However, reasons for the large number of 234 executions on Perry’s watch include the facts that he has been governor for 11 years and that Texas governors do not sign death warrants or set execution dates, the Post reported.
His predecessor, George W. Bush, had a higher annual rate of executions, and Democratic Gov. Ann Richards oversaw 50 executions during her four-year term. “In the big picture, it is hard to see how Perry is much different from Bush or Richards,” Jordan Steiker, co-director of the University of Texas Law School’s Capital Punishment Center, told the Post.
All of Perry’s main competitors for the nomination, along with President Barack Obama, support the death penalty.
Perry signed a law offering life without the possibility of parole as an alternative to the death penalty. Since then the number, of death sentences in Texas dropped from 23 in 2004 to eight in 2010, the anti-capital-punishment Death Penalty Information Center found, the Post reported.
Perry recently was asked on the campaign trail how he defends the death penalty, a sentence often criticized for its cost and inefficiency. “In the state of Texas, our citizens have clearly said that they support by overwhelming majority capital punishment,” he said, adding that, if people disagree, they should pass a constitutional amendment to halt the death penalty.
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