This concludes our journey through the Lone Star State and its tourist sites of penal and historical significance. The aim of the chapter was to introduce you to Texas as a place, and by positioning you as a tourist it is my hope that you were able to learn more about the state from a researcher’s perspective. That is not to suggest that this chapter has been in any way analytical. To be clear, the stories told within these museums will inform the analyses presented in Parts III and IV of this book. This chapter was merely an introduction to Texas, a way of locating or situating the punishment stories that will follow within a wider cultural context. So with this touristic account complete then, it is time to consider the Lone Star State—more specifically—as a place of harsh punishment.
In the next chapter we will be examining some of the stories other people are telling about a punitive Texas. Chap. 4 begins with a consideration of scholarly accounts that seek to explain and understand a specifically Texan penal history. In addition though, we will also be hearing from Texan governors and exploring the media portrayal of Lone Star justice. Finally, we will examine statistics relating to both incarceration and execution in order to compare Texan penal practices to those of other Southern states, with the aim of establishing the extent to which Texas lives up to its punitive reputation. In short, we will be evaluating the tales of a ‘Tough Texas’.
Dar, A., and R. Fox (eds.). 2009. Insight guides: Texas. London: APA Publications. Massingill, R., and A.B. Sohn. 2007. Prison city: Life with the death penalty in Huntsville, Texas. New York: Peter Lang.