Each week, Eyes on Texas looks at life in Texas through the eyes of those outside our state. It has been off since early March for spring break.
BBC News discussed the validity of the U.S. death penalty, examining the cost and compassion in executing inmates and focusing on Texas’ execution earlier this month of Keith Thurmond in particular. Concerns have been raised about the cost of the chemical cocktails used in executions, but Kent Scheiddeger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said executioners can merely change the ingredients used in an effort to save money. “Any barbiturate will do it,” he said. In a related post, the BBC reported that execution rates have risen internationally, with the U.S. coming in at a modest fifth place for most executions worldwide in 2011.
So over the rainbow: The Los Angeles Times reports that Beef Products Inc., makers of the infamous “pink slime,” are shutting down three of their four processing plants—including one in Amarillo—as a result of public backlash against the “lean, finely textured beef.” Critics argue the company should have been more transparent about the product they are selling. The colorful debate continues.
Fox News reports that Dallas suburb Farmers Branch has spent five years and $4.5 million of its $77 million budget trying to enforce a ban on renting to illegal immigrants. Resident Jack Viveros said the debate has “divided the city dramatically.” Despite the controversy, Mayor Jack Glancy, whose city has declared English its official language and has no Latinos on its council, noted that the town library hosts English classes for nearly 50 residents—all of whom are documented immigrants or U.S. citizens (¡claro que sí!).
The Chicago Sun-Times spoke with members of the East Texas small town Big Sandy about their most famous former resident and 2012 Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Lovie Smith, the head coach of the Chicago Bears. ‘‘Every time I hear his name, I bust some buttons off my chest,’’ said Jim Norman, Smith’s head coach at Big Sandy High School. ‘‘That’s how proud of him I am.”