As governor of Texas, he opposed bills that would have stopped executions
of mentally retarded people, and at least a few of the 152 people whose deaths he oversaw had very low IQs.
At the very least, such concerns justify calls for a moratorium on executions
Among those lining up to watch Massie's demise are representatives of the media who won the right to witness the full execution
- over the state's objections - in a federal appeals court last week.
Bush, who has presided over more than 130 executions
--more than any other Governor--defends the Texas record on executions
Mary Frances Robinson is a founder of the Texas Moratorium on Executions
While "Dead Man Walking" makes no effort to justify lethal punishment or find it objectionable, it does depict, in exquisite detail, the particular method of execution
used in Louisiana, the state in which the movie takes place.
George Ryan, who temporarily halted executions
in February after investigators, including a group of college students, proved the innocence of several men on the state's Death Row.
5 years on death row before winning release because evidence of their innocence emerged--an eloquent testament to the dangers of quicker executions
Physician participation in executions
has a long history.
Since then, 229 executions
have taken place in the United States.
At the same time, the pace of executions