Death penalties have become a rarity from juries in some parts of Texas in the wake of a string of prison inmates - including some on death row - who have been exonerated by DNA and other new evidence.
The San Antonio Express-News reports the last death sentence returned by a Bexar County jury in San Antonio came in 2009, when only one defendant was condemned in that county. In the 11 years ending in 2006, Bexar County juries meted out at least 24 death sentences.
Recent state and national surveys continue to show strong support for the death penalty, but less so when the option of life imprisonment without parole is offered to juries. Texas began offering that option in 2005.
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