Source: AP / CBS News
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Texas is approaching a grim milestone: It will soon execute the 500th prisoner since the death penalty resumed in the United States.
On Wednesday, barring a reprieve, Kimberly McCarthy will be put to death via lethal injection.
The number far outpaces the execution total in any other state. But it also reflects the reality of capital punishment in the United States today: While some states have halted the practice in recent years because of concern about wrongful convictions, executions continue at a steady pace in many others.
Still, even as McCarthy prepares to die, it’s clear that Texas, too, has been affected by the debate over capital punishment. In recent years, state lawmakers have provided more sentencing options for juries, and courts have narrowed the cases in which the death penalty can be applied. In guaranteeing DNA testing for inmates and providing for sentences of life without parole, Texas could well be on a slower track to execute its next 500 inmates.
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