On Sept. 7 during the Republican debate, Governor Rick Perry was asked by moderator Brian Williams “Your state has executed 234 death row inmate, more than any other governor in modern times. Have you…” At that point in his question Williams was interrupted by applause from the audience.

The fact that the audience actually applauded the mention of 234 executions is disquieting. In most cases death isn’t greeted by applause; people are solemn and reflective about death. The applause in this situation was just unnecessary.

The fact is that at this moment Texas has the highest rate of executions of any state, and as of 2007 has had 21 executions per year. That shouldn’t be something to applaud or to cheer. A more appropriate reason for applause could be the reduced rate of executions as well as a reduction in the crime rate.

Whether death comes from natural causes or is government mandated, it is still death and it should be respected. Even the most monstrous criminals not only deserve the right to due process of law but also to common courtesy afforded by the public. 

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