Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Death Penalty Differences

Today on a news quiz in my broadcast reporting class, the teacher asked us "What happened this morning just after midnight?"

I hadn't checked the news this morning before class and didn't know the answer to the question. As we were going over the answers and we got to this question, the teacher gave us the answer: "a man was executed. Donald Beardslee. Lethal Injection," he told us.

Big deal, I thought to myself. Someone got the death penalty. I didn't realize that this - the first death penalty in California since January 29, 2002 and eleventh since 1976 - was such a rarety. I am - after all - from Texas, and while The Lone Star State is second to California for the number of inmates on death row, we execute the most people by far.

In fact, Texas has executed 337 inmates since the death penalty was brought back from its moritorium. I guess the news stations in Texas do report on people getting the death penalty, but to me it's become almost "the norm." Maybe that's weird, or maybe that's just Texas.


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