Texas Life Without Parole Law Signed

Gov. Rick Perry (search) signed into law Friday a new life-without-parole sentencing option (search) for Texas juries in capital murder cases.

Texas juries have been able to sentence capital murder convicts to death or life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. The new law will strip the possibility of parole.

Texas leads the nation in executions. Of the 38 states with executions, Texas and New Mexico are the only ones that lacked the life-without-parole option.

"I believe this bill will improve our criminal justice system because it gives jurors a new option to protect the public with the certainty a convicted killer will never roam our streets again," said Perry, a Republican.

The law takes effect Sept. 1.