Death By Lethal Injection: The Executed Death Row Inmates of Amarillo, Texas
There have been crimes committed in the city of Amarillo and its surrounding areas so senseless and depraved that they are spoken of in only whispers. They were brutal enough to meet the criteria for Capital Murder charges; the evidence convincing enough for a jury to convict; and the danger to society real enough that a sentence of death by lethal injection was handed down.
Texas has a long and controversial history its use of the death penalty. In order to pursue the death penalty, a crime must meet the definition of capital murder. Section 19.03 of the Texas Penal Code outlines capital murder as committing murder under one of the following circumstances:
- The person murders a peace officer or fireman who is acting in an official duty;
- The person intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat;
- The person commits or solicits a murder for hire;
- The person commits the murder while escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution;
- The person, while incarcerated murders another person;
- The person murders more than one person;
- The person murders a person aged ten years old or younger; or
- The person murders another person involved in service with the judiciary.