....Better training. Smarter juries. Life without parole. And economic difficulties. But is there perhaps one more reason why the death penalty is on the wane?
Texas itself is changing. Its huge and growing Latino population opposes the death penalty on religious grounds. Americans of all stripes have moved here from other parts of the country too.
In this less homogenous environment, the old certainties are being more widely questioned.
But old habits die hard in Texas and the death penalty will not be disappearing any time soon. Back in a cafe in rural Bellville, Harley Thomason puts me straight.
"It's a zero-tolerance state," he says. "They'll just kill you in the state of Texas if you mess up."