By: Lily Hughes
The state of Texas maintains the most active execution chamber in the nation, amid questionable practices and a host of controversial executions.
Texas has executed seven people already this year as of May 2014. The state has put at least 515 people to death since executions were reinstated in 1982, far more than any other state.
Over the last 15 years, there have been scandals at DNA labs, and revelations of judges and lawyers sleeping through portions of capital cases. Meanwhile, clear evidence of racial bias in sentencing, a lack of funding for indigent defendants and an assembly line approach to executions continue to plague the Texas system.
Despite this, the courts here are known to rubber-stamp death penalty convictions with little scrutiny. The worst offender is the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in Texas.