Not All Texans Love A Good Execution


Editor’s note: James C. Moore is a business consultant and partner at Big Bend Strategies, a business messaging firm. He is co-author of “Bush’s Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential” and a TV political analyst. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) — Texas law regarding the death penalty often feels like a cultural remnant from the days of cowboys and the Old West: You kill; you get killed. In a recent New York Times article, the headline included the phrase, “Confronted on Execution, Texas Proudly Says It Kills Efficiently.” The language feels like an understatement considering that 515 inmates have been put to death in Texas since 1982, about 60% of the national total. Unfortunately, efficiency does not equate with accuracy.

Robert James Campbell, for example, was convicted of murder and rape. His defense attorneys, however, during his trial in Texas were not allowed to introduce evidence that indicated he was intellectually disabled and struggled with right and wrong. A prosecution expert, arguing for death, said Campbell might be dangerous in the future “because he is black.” These factors prompted a federal appeals court to stay Campbell’s Tuesday execution and allow the introduction of additional evidence at new sentencing hearing….


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  1. This is an excellent article on the injustice of the enforcement of the death penalty in the state of Texas. I have read a lot about the Todd Willingham case and was appalled at Rick Perry’s involvement. I was unaware of the other case, but am not surprised. Texas is in dire need of s sweeping change in leadership. I’ve shared this article on my Facebook page.

  2. This is an outstanding article on the injustice of the death penalty, in particular as it is carried out in Texas. I’m very familiar with the Todd Willingham case and was shocked at Rick Perry’s involvement. The other case I was unaware of, but the outcome does not surprise me. I decided to share tis article on my Facebook page.

  3. it is deceptive of you to impute racism from the statistic that while blacks are 37% of Texan’s executed, they are only 12% of the population, as cited in your referenced (obviously biased) article from WIRE. FBI statistics show that the majority of murderers in 2012 were black. in fact, the most common murderer in this country is a black male aged 17-29, representing about 2% of the population (reason enough to cross the street when this demographic approaches you). blacks are, in fact, most represented on death row because THEY COMMIT MOST OF THE MURDERS. statistically, at least, it appears they are under-represented on death row in Texas!

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