Only eight people were condemned to death in Texas this year, the lowest level since the state reintroduced capital punishment in 1976, according to data in a new report from the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Texas juries have been opting for the death penalty less often in recent years, in part due to the introduction of life without parole as an option in 2005. Several Texas prosecutors have said they are now less likely to push for the death penalty.
Over the same period that Texas death sentences have fallen, California's rate of condemned has been rising. Last year, the Golden State sent 29 people to its San Quentin death row. Texas sent 9. This year, California juries have picked death 21 times as of Oct. 1.
Texas is still far ahead in executions, with 17 conducted this year, according to the report.
California hasn't conducted an execution since 2006 due to legal challenges into the constitutionality of its lethal injection process. A previously scheduled execution in September was cancelled due to shortages of one of the necessary drugs. California officials confirmed a purchase of the drug from an overseas manufacturer last week but have not rescheduled the execution.