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Death and Texas - Part 1

Reuters blames Bible-belt religion for Texas' record number of executions.

On Sunday, the Washington Post published a Reuters story about the number of executions in the state of Texas–now pushing a remarkable 400 since the Supreme Court lifted its ban on capital punishment in 1976. Texas has carried out 398 executions and it has 5 more planned for August. The closest runner up to the Texas numbers is Virginia with 96 executions–only one quarter of the Lone Star State's record.

What was puzzling about the story was the way writer Ed Stoddard tried to link the numbers to religion. Here's how he led off the story:

Texas will almost certainly hit the grim total of 400 executions this month, far ahead of any other state, testament to the influence of the state's conservative evangelical Christians and its cultural mix of Old South and Wild West.

The Washington Post repeated the emphasis by headlining the story, "Religion, Culture Behind Texas Execution Tally."

Whoa there, Podner!

What does religion have to do with it? All Stoddard could come up with was this:

Like his ...
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