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State as Executioner: Rick Perry Did Not Invent the Death Penalty

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It would be wrong to think that it is only Texas Governor Rick Perry’s boasting over his state’s punitive body count in a recent Republican debate that has put the death penalty back in the news (Texas led the nation with 167 executions from 1976-1998 and still leads with an incredible 234 since Perry became governor in 2000). Not at all. It is only our collective racial amnesia and apparent moral callousness where death is concerned that can make it seem this way.

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