Rick Perry Holds the Record for Executions (By Far)
In his nearly 11 years as chief executive, Perry, now running for the GOP presidential nomination, has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history: 234 and counting. That’s more than the combined total in next two states — Oklahoma and Virginia — since the death penalty was restored 35 years ago.
The number is partly explained by sheer longevity at the helm of a huge state that has mastered the complicated legal maze of carrying out capital punishment.
But Perry has hardly shrunk from the task. …
He vetoed a bill that would have spared the mentally retarded and sharply criticized a Supreme Court ruling that juveniles were not eligible for death. He has found during his tenure only one inmate on Texas’s crowded death row he thought should receive the lesser sentence of life in prison.
And Perry’s role in the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham — who supporters said should have been at least temporarily spared when experts warned that faulty forensic science led to his conviction — is still the subject of investigation in Texas.