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Caprock Chronicles: The Last Rape Execution

Chuck Lanehart wrote a new Caprock Chronicle, on one of the last rape executions to happen in Texas. The story begins in Lynn County, with a black man accused of raping a young, white woman at her farmhouse. Needless to say, the case captured national interest. After a brief trial and failed criminal defense, the defendant was convicted and sent to the electric chair in 1963.

Many changes have improved the criminal justice system since the case. Rape is now legally known as sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court approved a reformed death penalty system which prevented rape from being considered a capital crime.

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