Texas Should Give Juries Life Without Parole Option
Texas is well-known for its capital punishment system which routinely puts more criminals to death each year than any other state. What many do not know is that Texas juries do not have the option of sentencing criminals to life in prison without parole. That may soon change.
Currently, Texas juries have the option of sentencing criminals to death or sentencing them to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 40 years. This creates a false choice for Texas juries. As a native Texan, I can say that, were I on a jury where the death penalty was applicable, I would be very distraught to know my only options were to either execute the criminal or release the criminal after 40 years.
Currently, the life-without-parole bill has passed the state Senate but has run into difficulties in the House. Texas’ elected representative should welcome this change to the judicial code. Juries deserve an option that lets them decline to use the death penalty but will still keep violent offenders forever out of society.