On Friday, May 20, 2011, a Travis County jury sentenced Areli Carbajal Escobar to death for the murder and sexual assault of Bianca Maldonado in 2009. According to the Austin American-Statesman (“Escobar sentenced to death for slaying of 17-year-old,” May 20, 2011), it took the jury about 2.5 hours to decide whether “there is a probability Escobar would commit future acts of violence that make him a threat to society.” Upon answering “yes” to that question, the jury then had to decide whether there were any mitigating circumstances to warrant a sentence of life in prison. Because their answer to the second question was “no,” the jury voted for a death sentence.
According to the Statesman, this was the 10th case in which Travis County prosecutors have asked a jury to impose the death penalty in the past decade. In those cases, juries have chosen life in prison four times and death six times.
This is the 19th death sentence from Travis County since 1976. It is the third death sentence imposed this year in Texas. New death sentences in Texas fell to a record low last year, when just 8 individuals were sent to death row.