53 / 22
      55 / 26
      56 / 28

      Potter County ranks 9th for death penalty in Texas

      When it comes to executions over the last 30 years in Texas, Harris County with 116 has the most.

      Surprisingly, at number nine on that list is Potter County with 10 executions.

      What's also a surprise is, Randall County near the bottom of the list with three.

      Both James Farren and Randall Sims have the same assumption as to why they think numbers have fallen here over the last seven years, and both feel the same when it comes to pursuing the death penalty in court.

      James Farren says when comparing the crime rates in potter and Randall counties the numbers should be close to the same, but types of crime is where things differentiate.

      "Potter County certainly has more violent crime than Randall County, we have more property crime. Potter County has more drive by shootings, more drugs, more drug cases, more assaults, and more homicides."

      He says prosecutors must be very circumspect when it comes to seeking the death penalty.

      "The death penalty is appropriate in an appropriate case, but with life without parole now available and with changing attitudes people have towards the death penalty, we have to be really careful."

      And potter county d-a Randall Sims agrees.

      "The legislature changed it from the second possibility of being life without parole, and that's also effected the decision making on some of the prosecutors part on whether to try and seek the death penalty or not."

      Farren says for the state to be serious about taking the life of a citizen, the crime must be *very* serious and the evidence has to be overwhelming.

      The last time someone was sentenced to die out of Potter County was in two-thousand-five, and in Randall County, it was just last summer.