NCPA's Reynolds Available On Death Penalty

DALLAS (June 20, 2000) - On Thursday, June 22, barring a last minute stay, convicted killer Gary Graham will be put to death. With Texas Gov. George W. Bush the GOP's all-but official presidential nominee and a strong death penalty supporter, Graham's execution has become a source of national attention - not only for the strength of Graham's case, but also for the death penalty in general and Texas' administration of it.

Morgan Reynolds, director of the National Center for Policy Analysis' (NCPA) Criminal Justice Center, who has written extensively on the death penalty, is available to discuss the case, and the general issue of the death penalty and its execution in Texas.

WHO: Dr. Morgan Reynolds, Director, NCPA's Criminal Justice Center

WHAT: Expert Analysis On Texas' Death Penalty

WHEN: Available Upon Request

Reynolds notes that the murder rate in Texas fell 56 percent in the 1990s, when the state started taking the death penalty seriously, while the national murder rate fell only 38 percent. That means that approximately 1,800 fewer people were killed during that period, bringing Texas' murder rate to its lowest since the 1950's. Furthermore, only seven types of murder currently qualify as capital crimes in Texas.

  • Murder of a child under six years of age because it is considered especially heinous;
  • Murder of a public safety officer, firefighter or correctional officer;
  • Murder for remuneration or hire;
  • Murder during the commission of specified felonies like kidnapping or robbery;
  • Murders during prison escapes;
  • Murder by a prisoner serving a life sentence;
  • And for committing multiple murders.

As the director of the NCPA's Criminal Justice Center, Reynolds is the author of the Reynolds Report, an annual study of the time criminals can expect to spend in prison for their crimes, and frequently writes about the role of punishment and its expectation in crime prevention. Reynolds has published more than 50 articles in academic journals and has had opinion pieces published or has been quoted in such national newspapers as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times and the New York Times.