A Change in The Weather On the Way?

The first surprise is that Kerry Max Cook escaped the coolly efficient clutches of the Texas death-penalty system. After 20 years behind bars, 13 of them spent on death row on a murder charge, Cook walked free in 1999 bearing horrifying tales of prosecutorial misconduct. The even bigger surprise is that lawmakers in Texas--which for years has put more people to death than any other state--have been listening to Cook's story and are considering a once unthinkable moratorium on executions.

Texas is not the only place where doubts about capital punishment have taken hold. Twenty of the 38 states with a...

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