A history of capital punishment in Texas

Milestones in capital punishment in Texas:

1819 — George Brown is first person executed in Texas, by hanging.

1863 — Chipita Rodriguez is first woman executed in Texas, by hanging.

1923 — Lee Nathan becomes the last of 394 people executed by hanging.

1924 — Charles Reynolds becomes first inmate to die in the electric chair in Huntsville as state takes over executions.

1963 — Joseph Johnson is the last of 361 Texas prisoners to die in the electric chair.

1972 — U.S. Supreme Court finds death penalty “cruel and unusual;” death sentences of 52 people in Texas are commuted to life in prison.

1976 — U.S. Supreme Court holds Georgia death penalty statute constitutional, setting stage for resumption of executions.

1977 — Texas adopts lethal injection method.

1982 — Texas inmate Charlie Brooks becomes first in U.S. to receive lethal injection.

1998 — Karla Tucker becomes first woman executed in Texas since Civil War.

2000 — Texas executes a record 40 prisoners in one year.

2013 — Texas schedules execution of Kimberly McCarthy, number 500 by lethal injection.

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Sources: Texas Department of Criminal Justice, “Espy File” database compiled by historians M. Watt Espy and John Ortiz Smykla.

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