FEATURED POST

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

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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…

Juvenile reportedly executed in Pakistan

Pakistan this morning [Dec. 16, 2015]  reportedly executed Saqi Shah, who was arrested and convicted when he was 16 years old.

Shah, who was sentenced to death in June 1992, had already spent 23 years in prison – 20 of which have been on death row. According to the Asian Commission for Human Rights, Shah’s birth certificate shows he was born in April 1975, making him 16 at the time of his conviction. The execution of juveniles is illegal under Pakistani and international law.

Executions in Pakistan resumed a year ago on Saturday (December 19th), after a moratorium had long been in place. Since then more than 300 people have been executed, including 5 juveniles, according to international human rights NGO Reprieve which has been tracking the executions.

Among those juveniles is Aftab Bahadur, who was 15 at the time of his arrest for a crime of which all eyewitnesses in the case said he was innocent. Faisal Mahmood, another juvenile, was also executed earlier this year, despite the fact that not even the Government's own lawyers disputed his age.

Saqi Shah's execution is at least the fifth documented execution of a juvenile prisoner executed in Pakistan this year, although given problems with birth registration in the country it is likely that the real number is far higher.

Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve’s Death Penalty team, said: “It is shocking that the Pakistani government is continuing wilfully on their course of executing person after person, day after day. It is all the more horrific that untold numbers of those being executed were convicted when they were just children – just like Saqi Shah reportedly was. The Pakistani government must put a halt to all executions so that they can fully investigate who exactly they are trying to kill.”

Source: Reprieve, December 16, 2015

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