PolitiFact Texas fact checks a Sacramento Bee editorial published earlier this week, "Sacramento Bee editorial says Texas ranks first in executions." True.
In an editorial poking at Gov. Rick Perry’s pitch for California businesses to consider moving to Texas, the Sacramento Bee's editorial board said Texas ranks poorly in several ways.
"Come check out a state that ranks first in the number of executions, first in the number of uninsured, first in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted and first in the amount of toxic chemicals released into water," the Feb. 6, 2013, editorial says.
We’ll take up the reference to executions in this fact check.
Texas has executed more convicts than any other state since the legality of the death penalty was reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit clearinghouse that has written reports critical of the death penalty.
From 1977 through early February 2012, Texas executed 492 prisoners, the center says. No other state came close. Virginia ranked a distant second, with 110 executions, Oklahoma fell third with 102.
The SacBee editorial of February 6th was, "Pity Rick Perry; his big state has big needs."
Poor Texas. With its high dropout rate, lack of health insurance coverage and economic disparities, the Lone Star State appears to be desperate, or least its governor is. How else to explain Gov. Rick Perry's unseemly radio ads attempting to lure businesses away from California?
"Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible," the Republican governor says in the ad. "This is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and I have a message for California businesses: Come check out Texas."
Yes, come check out Texas. Check out a state that ranks dead last in the percent of its population with high school diplomas. Come check out a state that is last in mental health expenditures and workers' compensation coverage. Come check out a state that ranks first in the number of executions, first in the number of uninsured, first in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted and first in the amount of toxic chemicals released into water.
As the late Molly Ivins said of her native Texas, "It's a low-tax, low-service state – so shoot us. The only depressing part is that, unlike Mississippi, we can afford to do better. We just don't."