Yes, Texas Has the Death Penalty

Yes, Texas Has the Death Penalty

While no one wants to contemplate the death penalty, it is a reality for certain crimes committed in Texas (and other states). The death penalty is often carried out upon conviction of a capital felony. A capital felony is when a person deliberately or knowingly causes the death of another under special circumstances.

Special circumstances may fall into several categories and include the murder of a public safety officer, correctional employee or firefighter. The more shared situations involving a capital felony are the consequence of kidnapping, arson, robbery, burglary, aggravated rape and multiple murders.

Other instances also include murder for hire and murder during a prison escape. A capital felony is also murder committed by an inmate serving life for any of the above-mentioned offenses or the murder of a person under 6 years of age.

In Texas a person must be at the minimum 17 years old when the crime is committed to confront the death penalty. An Austin criminal defense attorney tries many capital felony situations in the capital of Texas.

At one time the method of execution in Texas was hanging. That changed in 1923 to electrocution, or Ole’ Sparky. 1977 brought the arrival of death by lethal injection, which is really three different drugs given in ordern – sodium thiopental to bring about unconsciousness, pancuronium that relaxes the muscles and causes paralysis of the breathing muscles and potassium chloride that stops the heart.

Ordinarily the death course of action takes seven minutes, however there have been some rather sensational goofs where the time of action took 90 minutes in one example and over 2 hours in another. This triggered more argue over the use of capital punishment.

Texas has an interesting history when it comes to the death penalty. It was in the early 70s that the Supreme Court said execution was cruel and uncommon punishment and ran counter to the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution. Texas promptly changed its penal code making capital punishment legal again in 1976.

Under the changes there are two trials, the first being an ordinary one where the accused may be convicted of a capital felony. The second trial decides if the criminal gets the death penalty or not. In phase one of this course of action the prosecutor must tell the jury the death penalty will be sought if the speculate is convicted.

When faced with a death penalty trial, a Houston criminal defense lawyer who knows the system intimately will be with you every step of the way. Be aware of the consequences of your actions if you are considering committing a crime punishable by death. Once convicted it can rarely be undone.

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