Some 600 women religious began their last day of a three-day conference here with a public demonstration against the death penalty. Carrying signs and wearing visors reading "LCWR: Nuns for life," they left the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Dallas and walked to a nearby plaza where they held a prayer and protest session.
The number of executions in the United States has decreased from 98 in 1999 to 52 in 2009. Twenty-four, down from 37 in 1999, of the 52 executions in the U.S. took place in Texas in 2009. Moreover, only nine Texas death sentences were given in 2009, down from as many as 48 in the late 1990s, according to an LCWR death penalty paper.
Texas now has executed more than 450 people since 1982 out of some 1,200 executions nationwide since 1977. Currently there are more than 330 people on Texas Death Row; nationally there are some 3,270 such inmates.
Each year that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious meets for its annual gathering members make a public demonstration on behalf of a life issue.