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Texas, home to more than a third of executions since 1976, might kill another person tonight

Executions by state. (Pew Research Center)

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: Robert Campbell has reportedly obtained a stay of his execution.

Texas on Tuesday night may conduct the first state execution since Oklahoma botched a lethal injection two weeks ago.

If it proceeds, the execution would be Texas’s eighth this year. The Lone Star State has executed more people than any other state, both in 2014 alone and in total since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. It has been home to 515 executions since then, more than four times the total of runner-up Oklahoma, according to data from the Death Penalty Information Center. Texas had scheduled another two executions later this month, but both have been stayed. Another three are slated this year.

Robert James Campbell is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Tuesday night, unless the Supreme Court agrees to put it on hold. Our colleague Mark Berman has more on his particular case here, so here we decided to pull some data to contextualize how his execution—and Texas in particular—fits into the national trend.

Executions in Texas peaked in 2000 when it killed 40 individuals

Texas has been the national leader for all but eight years since 1976

How Texas executes its death row inmates

Texas was the first to implement lethal injections on Dec. 7, 1982, according to the DPIC. Most now rely on that method for executions. The state reportedly began using Pentobarbital, an anesthetic, for its injections in the fall. The Lone Star state is one of several that have used a one-drug protocol. Others use a three-drug cocktail.

(Richard Johnson/Washington Post)
(Richard Johnson/Washington Post)


Niraj Chokshi is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.

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