Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment

Court room

Susybelle Gosslee (Dallas) Issue Chair (sgosslee [at]

Testimony: 20192017

Coalitions & Resources

  • Texas Criminal Justice Coalition The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC) advances solutions that transform the adult and youth justice systems to strengthen families and foster safer communities.
  • Innocence Project of Texas The Innocence Project of Texas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to securing the release of those wrongfully convicted of crimes in Texas and educating the public about the causes and effects of wrongful convictions.

Facts about the death penalty:

  • Texas has the highest number of executions in the country and ranks fifth highest in the world after China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Yet death penalty cases and executions have been declining in the U.S. for many years.

  • Death row exonerations have reached a total of 164 in the U.S.  Florida has the most exonerations, and Texas is third in the U.S. with 13.  Texas has 232 prisoners on death row, the third highest in the country.  Texas has the highest number of executions compared to other states. 

  • The South has had the most executions compared to other regions of the country with 1219.  Texas and Oklahoma have had 671 executions while the Northeast has had 4 executions.  

  • One could argue that being executed depends upon where one lives. The number of death penalty cases is declining currently throughout the country.  The trend started in 1976 with no executions in the U.S. when executions were reinstated.  The number of executions rose to 98 in 1999 and has declined to 25 in 2018. 

  • The race of the defendants executed is 55.6% for White people, 34.2% for Black people, 8.5% for Hispanic people, and 1.6% for other races.  The race of the victims is 76% White, 15% Black, 7% Hispanic, and 2% other races.

History of LWVTX Action on Capital Punishment