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Keep Houston Press Free
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We're No. 1! (In Executions)

In its 2009 Death Penalty and Executions report released today, Amnesty International calls Texas the "worst offender," because -- with 24 executions -- it leads the country in the number of people it killed last year.

In fact, Texas all by itself comes in 7th in the world "trailing only the rest of the United States, and the governments of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and China," according to the report.

Sharon Singh, the Amnesty media relations director concedes that their numbers -- 714 people executed in 18 countries and 2001 people sentenced to death in 56 countries in 2009 -- do "not include the thousands of executions that were likely to have taken place in China, where information on the death penalty remains a state secret."

In Texas, where executions are part of the public record, the state "has already executed four men in 2010, and another, Franklin Alix, is scheduled to be put to death on the evening of March 30," Singh notes.

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Still, there is some hope among the anti crowd. The report notes that even Texas juries are "part of a national trend turning away from the death penalty as they handed down fewer death sentences in 2009."

The report notes that: Fifteen states have now abolished the death penalty in the United States. An additional 10 states have not carried out an execution in more than 10 years."

Hair Balls guesses the chances for that happening in Texas are about the same as the state's residents voting to legalize marijuana.

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