Dissecting the ABA Texas Capital Punishment Assessment Report of 2013: Death and Texas, a Surprising Improvement
Professor Metze dissects the American Bar Association report, September 2013, entitled Evaluating Fairness and Accuracy in State Death Penalty Systems: The Texas Capital Punishment Assessment Report—An Analysis of Texas’s Death Penalty Laws, Procedures and Practices. This Report was produced by the ABA’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, specifically the Death Penalty Due Process Review Project, which identified 12 inadequacies in the Texas Capital Punishment System, recommended changes, and evaluated compliance. Now, four years and two legislative sessions later, this Article explores what Texas has done in the interim to improve its death penalty process. Incredibly, the Article concludes that Texas has made great strides in ensuring fairness, reducing the risk of executing the innocent, and preserving public confidence in the criminal justice system. Texas is beginning, in the words of this generation’s poet laureate, to be able to say it did not turn away, failing to hear or see “what sorrow brings” while the condemned silently die.