Why Texas’ ‘death penalty capital of the world’ stopped executing people

Since the Supreme Court legalized capital punishment in 1976, Harris County, Texas, has executed 126 people. That's more executions than every individual state in the union, barring Texas itself.
Harris County's executions account for 23 percent of the 545 people Texas has executed. On the national level, the state alone is responsible for more than a third of the 1,465 people put to death in the United States since 1976.
In 2017, however, the county known as the "death penalty capital of the world" and the "buckle of the American death belt" executed and sentenced to death a remarkable number of people: zero.
This is the first time since 1985 that Harris County did not execute any of its death row inmates, and the third year in a row it did not sentence anyone to capital punishment either.
The remarkable statistic reflects a shift the nation is seeing as a whole.
“The practices that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is following are also signifi…

Indonesia denies clemency to smugglers

Australia needs to send a clear, consistent message to Indonesia opposing the death penalty after its president rejected a series of clemency pleas by five foreign drug smugglers, a lawyer for one of the Bali Nine says.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono refused the appeals by the five - from Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Brazil - in a further blow for six Australians on death row for the same crime.

Indonesian authorities are now pushing ahead with the execution of the five, newspaper Pos Kota reported.

Darwin barrister Colin McDonald QC, who visited 21-year-old Bali Nine death row drug mule Scott Rush in prison on the weekend, said the failed clemency bids heightened the need for Australia to send a clear message opposing the death penalty.

The six Australians plan to appeal to Yudhoyono for clemency if their final legal appeals fail.

"It really is essential that Australia speaks consistently in relation to the death penalty, and we express our opposition forcefully," McDonald told AAP.

Source: AAP


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