The Supreme Court threw out death sentences for three convicted Texas felons yesterday. It is unclear whether 44 other, similar, sentences are still valid.
Because life without parole was not an option in Texas (as it is now) at the time these people were convicted, their sentences revert to life in prision, with the option for parole. I seriously doubt that any will be paroled, but it is a concern.
What is more important about this case is that it points to our state's very real problem: our criminal justice system isn't guaranteeing beyond all doubt that we aren't executing innocent individuals. Our justice system isn't always guaranteeing that evidence is correctly obtained and presented in court, and that federal law is correctly being interpreted by Texas judges. If the state is are going to be in the business of taking away a life, the state needs to be absolutely certain on every count. We need a moratorium on the death penalty in Texas. Now.