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To applause, Perry defends Texas death penalty
Perry draws applause in defending death penalty, hasn't struggled over questions of innocence
By The Associated Press

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) ' Texas Gov. Rick Perry is defending the death penalty in Texas and says he's never struggled with whether any of the inmates executed during his time as governor might have been innocent.

When Perry defended capital punishment, he drew strong applause from the scores of people in the audience at the Republican debate Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

As of today, 234 people have been executed in the 10-plus years that Perry has served as governor of Texas. That's the highest number of any American governor.

The audience first applauded when NBC News anchor Brian Williams cited the number of executions in Texas. Perry says he believes that such a response reflects how much Americans support capital punishment for particularly heinous crimes.

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