FEATURED POST

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

Image
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…

Five expats sentenced to death for killing employer in Qatar

Doha, Qatar
A criminal court in Qatar this week has sentenced 5 men in absentia to death by firing squad for murdering their boss.

According to court documents, the incident took place in January 2014.

4 of the men who were convicted are from Bangladesh: Rebon Khan, Din Islam Aziz al-Rahman, Muhammad Rashid Muhammad and Muhammad Ruseil. A 5th, Sahtaj Sheikh, is from Nepal.

They had been charged with 1st degree, premeditated murder, theft and forgery. The men were not in Qatar when the verdict was read on Dec. 31, 2015.

What happened

According to court testimony, the victim and several of his employees had gone to an under-construction home at 6am on Jan. 9.

At some point, the 5 defendants threatened the rest of the workers and shut them into a bathroom, closing the door. The defendants could be observed holding hammers.

Some of the men trapped in the bathroom testified that while inside, they heard loud voices and screams from the victim, but added that they were too scared to call the police.

The victim's body was found the next day by his brother, who had gone to the construction site searching for him after his wife reported him missing.

A forensics report stated that the victim was struck several times on the head with hammers, resulting in his death.

After the employer was killed, the defendants stole the victim's smart card, the court heard.

They then used an electronic device to issue exit permits for themselves by entering the victim's data and making it look like as if he had agreed to the issuing of the permits.

The court documents did not include the name and nationality of the victim.

Kafala debate

The case comes less than a year after a Doha court sentenced 4 other expats in absentia to jail time for abducting 1 of their Qatari sponsors.

Those defendants were acquitted of an attempted murder charge, but had been found guilty of beating and robbing the sponsor.

They had also forced him to sign their exit permits before they left Qatar.

The verdict prompted a flurry of debate about Qatar's restrictive kafala sponsorship system, with critics saying freedom of movement should be a universal right, and the defendants may have had no choice but to resort to extreme measures.

Others, however, countered that torturing a person is always unjustified and breaking the law is not the answer.

Source: Doha News, January 3, 2016

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

North Carolina death row becoming frail, aging

Trump calls for death penalty for anyone who kills a police officer

California: Riverside County leads U.S. in death penalty sentences, but hasn’t executed anyone in 39 years

Bali jailbreak: US inmate escapes notorious Kerobokan prison

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

Georgia executes Emmanuel Hammond

Law of Parties: Prosecutor who put Jeff Wood on Texas’ death row asks for clemency

China sentences ten to death in front of cheering crowd of thousands

Iran: Two Prisoners Hanged In Public

California: Death penalty for the man who killed an 8-year-old he thought was gay