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Experts: Texas Slowly Moving Away From Executions

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - For years Texas has executed more prison inmates than any other state, but some believe that trend is coming to an end.

Kristin Houle, executive director of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, says Texas is joining the rest of the nation in slowly moving away from executions.

"One of the main factors driving this movement away from the death penalty, in Texas and nationally, is the rate or the incidents of wrongful convictions," Houle explained.

According to Houle, there has also been an ongoing decline in the number of people sentenced to death row. In Texas, she says, the number of new death sentences has dropped about 75-percent in the last decade.

So far this year, Texas has carried out nine executions and Miguel Angel Paredes is scheduled to be put to death on October 28.

Even with the expected death of Paredes, Houle says, "We will have carried out the fewest executions in Texas, this year, since 1996."

In addition to fewer death sentences, Houle said the lower number of executions is directly related to recent revelations about wrongful convictions.

Some activists are even taking to the streets to demand the death penalty be abolished. Rallies are planned across the state before the end of the year, and kick off this weekend in Houston with the 15th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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