Texas’ death row is getting its first inmate of 2015, ending a 10-month hiatus in death sentences imposed by juries in the nation’s most active capital punishment state.
A Brazos County jury decided after seven hours of deliberation Wednesday that 22-year-old Gabriel Hall should be executed for an attack that left a man dead and his wife injured at the couple’s home in College Station, about 100 miles northwest of Houston.
The lull in death sentences in Texas is similar to what other capital punishment states have experienced in recent years. The Texas hiatus is believed to be the longest the state has seen since the U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in a Georgia case in 1972, effectively halted executions.
Statistics kept by the Death Penalty Information Center show 73 people nationwide were sentenced to die last year. In 1996, the nation’s death rows swelled by 315 inmates.
Read more on death row statics here.