Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research17:2 (Fall 2007). Copyright ©2007 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Texas has a notorious reputation as the death-penalty capital of America. The sheer number of Texas executions since 1976 has created a statistical pool that Jon Sorenson and Rochy Pilgrim use in Lethal Injection to address four major factual (as opposed to moral) issues surrounding the death penalty: (1) Does it deter would-be murderers from killing? (2) Does it prevent probable future acts of violence by those sentenced to death? (3) Is it applied to the most deserving defendants? (4) Is it imposed fairly and cost-effectively? These are certainly the right questions, and, for the most part, the authors do an excellent job providing honest, and sometimes surprising, answers.