In his nearly 11 years as chief executive, Perry, now running for the GOP presidential nomination, has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history: 234 and counting. That’s more than the combined total in next two states — Oklahoma and Virginia — since the death penalty was restored 35 years ago.
The number is partly explained by sheer longevity at the helm of a huge state that has mastered the complicated legal maze of carrying out capital punishment.
But Perry has hardly shrunk from the task.
As the 2012 presidential race unfolds, Perry’s record will inevitably become part of the debate in a country where the number of death sentences handed down continues to fall, and some states are renouncing executions.
"Tough on crime."
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