Thinking about the death penalty is not a pleasant task, but pretending that it is a non-issue does not alter the fact that the death penalty is very real in many states across our nation, including the State of Texas. There is a lot of misinformation out there about the death penalty, and the following three basic facts can help dispel some of the confusion. If you are facing a serious criminal charge with serious legal consequences, you need the professional legal counsel of a highly experienced Williamson County criminal attorney in your corner and defending your rights sooner rather than later.
One: The Death Penalty in America Is Continually Evolving
The death penalty – also known as capital punishment – is not static but, instead, continues to evolve. Consider the following:
The death penalty is currently legal in 29 states, but each state has its own legal parameters that apply.
The death penalty is legal in Texas, and the state leads the nation in death penalty executions.
In 21 states and the District of Columbia, the death penalty has either been abolished or put under what is called a gubernatorial moratorium, which means that, although the death penalty is legal, the governors of these states have declared moratoriums on executions while they remain in office.
The nation is clearly divided on the role that capital punishment should play in our criminal justice system, and it is very clear that its evolution is far from complete.
Two: There Are Far More Inmates on Death Row than There Are Executions
Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 (after being deemed cruel and unusual punishment – and thus a constitutional violation – in a 1972 Court decision), there have been about 1,500 executions nationwide (with most occurring in southern states). Just a small fraction of the prisoners who are on death row, however, are ever executed, but the nature of death row itself receives considerable negative attention from humanitarian perspectives throughout the nation and the world.
Three: There Have Been 185 Exonerations Since 1973
Since 1973, 185 people on death row have been exonerated of all charges and released from prison (many – if not most – after decades of incarceration) – according to the Death Penalty Information Center. When the stakes are as high as life and death, this number represents far too many mistakes.
Speak to an Experienced Williamson County Criminal Attorney Today
If you are facing a serious criminal charge with serious legal consequences, the time to take action is right now. Brett Pritchard atThe Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Williamson County, Texas, is a focused criminal attorney with an impressive track record of successfully guiding cases like yours toward their best possible resolutions, and he is here for you, too. Our accomplished legal team is on your side and ready to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.