09/10/2014 04:43 pm ET Updated Sep 10, 2014

Wendy Davis Still Supports The Death Penalty

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, is not backing away from her support for the death penalty.

"I do support the death penalty and I will be prepared to carry it out," Davis said in a Wednesday interview with HuffPost Live.

Davis, who is running against state Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), said she believes capital punishment is appropriate when "heinous crimes" are committed.

Texas has the highest execution rate in the country. Since 1976, 515 people have been executed in the state, including seven in the last year.

When asked about studies that have shown that as many as 4 percent of death row inmates are innocent, Davis said Texas had made progress on that front in recent years.

"I've also been very supportive of making sure that we are providing everyone with due process rights to assure that we never execute an innocent person," she said, noting that she favors advanced DNA testing before the death penalty is carried out.

Abbott favors the death penalty as well.

Several botched lethal injections around the country in recent months have raised questions about the morality of capital punishment. Davis acknowledged this in the interview.

"I of course respect the constitutional provisions to assure that we don't have cruel and unusual punishment," she said. "And as governor, I will work to assure that this is the case."

A June Washington Post/ABC poll found that 52 percent of Americans would prefer that convicted murderers spend life in prison rather than receiving the death penalty.

Watch the full interview above.



United States Governors