Execution-Ban Bill Is Vetoed in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas, JUNE 17, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Governor Rick Perry today vetoed a bill to ban the execution of mentally retarded death row inmates, saying the state already has safeguards in place to protect them, the Associated Press reported.

Perry criticized the bill as a way of giving judges the power to overturn a jury´s determination of whether an inmate is mentally retarded. Supporters of the bill said the ban was an issue of humanity.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush last week signed a bill making Florida the 15th state to ban the execution of retarded defendants.

Texas is the country´s No. 1 death penalty state. Eight people have been executed this year, 247 since 1982.