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Texas Judge Says Executions Should Be Televised

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Texas Judge Says Executions Should Be Televised

Article excerpt

A Texas judge said executions should be televised as a means of publicizing the effects of punishment.

The only reason given by government against televising executions is that they could make for "unpleasant, and even gruesome viewing," said Judge Sam Johnson of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. This can be solved by simply using the remote control to switch channels or turn off the set, he continued.

Johnson spoke at the second national assembly held by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas (FOIFT) in Austin.

"If we agree to continue to honestly assert that executions deter crime, measures should be taken to ensure that they actually do so," the jurist commented. "Televising executions would accomplish this purpose. Individuals who need deterrence are not made aware that executions take place on a regular basis."

Johnson asserted that tv journalists should be able to air executions openly "so the public can learn how capital punishment is conducted and will be encouraged to question why. …

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