Texas is a Hang ‘Em High State
When it comes to punishing serious offenders, Texas makes no bones about it: you do the crime, and you’ll get the appropriate punishment. And when it comes to the death penalty there is no exception. In fact, Texas leads the country in the number of executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. The typical method of execution is lethal injection which consists of sodium thiopenthal (which serves to sedate), pancuronium bromide (which relaxes the muscles and collapses the diaphragm and lungs), and potassium chloride (which stops the heart beat). The offender is typically pronounced dead no later than seven minutes after the injection is first administered. Some interesting statistics regarding Texas’ death row inmates are that the shortest time spent prior to execution was 248 days by Joe Gonzalez (executed 9/18/96) and the longest time spent on death row as 24 years by Excell White (executed 3/30/99). Likewise, the youngest person at the time of their execution is equally shared by Jay Pinkerton, Jesse De La Rossa and Toronto Patterson who were each 24 years old; and the oldest person at the time of their execution was William Chappell who was 66 at the time his punishment was meted out. Offenders on death row receive a regular diet, have access to reading, writing, and legal materials. Depending upon their custody level, some death row offenders are allowed to have a radio.One of the most famous prisoners to be executed was Raymond Hamilton, one member of the “Bonnie and Clyde” gang which ran amok in Texas. He was sentenced from Walker County and executed on May 10, 1935 for murder. Hamilton and another man had previously escaped from death row, only to be captured and returned to face their punishment. And when it comes to executing women, they are not exempt. Texas has executed three women (Karla Faye Tucker, Betty Lou Beets, and Frances Newton) since 1998 (all by lethal injection).