A Race To The Death

Texas faces a challenge from the Sooner state

The national trend toward a slowdown in executions amid fears of wrongful convictions has not shaken the resolve of the Sooner state. "It's the wild West," a minister named Robin Meyers said outside an Oklahoma City courtroom where a death-row inmate's attorneys made an unsuccessful plea for mercy last week. "Texas and Oklahoma are in a race to see who can kill the most people."

Texas won in a rout last year (40 to 11), but Oklahoma led the country in per-capita executions. And the state is beginning 2001 ambitiously. It can't claim credit if Timothy McVeigh is put to death--he's...

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