Dallas County twice tried to condemn killers but didn’t send anyone to death row in 2017. It hasn’t for three years, and neither has Houston’s Harris County, the Dallas Morning News reports. Both were once leaders in a state known for putting convicted killers to death. Although Texas remained the national leader in executions in 2017 with seven, executions and new death sentences have been steadily declining over the past decade. Nationwide, there were 39 death sentences issued in 2017, and 31 percent of those came from just three counties: Riverside County, Ca.; Clark County, Nv.; and Maricopa County, Az., reports the Death Penalty Information Center.
In Texas, only four people were sent to death row this year. For the first time in more than 30 years, no one from Harris County was executed in 2017. Only one from Dallas was executed. In 2018, Dallas and Harris counties will account for the first three executions — if they’re carried out as planned. The Dallas County district attorney’s office has two pending death penalty cases, including the alleged gunman accused of killing dentist Kendra Hatcher in 2015 at an apartment parking garage. His trial is set for October.