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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…

Iran under Hassan Rouhani is among world’s biggest prisons for news and information providers

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani
NCRI - Iran under the rule of the clerical regime has been ranked #173 among 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index and “Hassan Rouhani’s installation as president in June 2013 has not had a positive impact on freedom of information,” a report published on Friday by media rights group Reporters Without Borders said.

The authorities have closed newly-created news outlets and, with the active cooperation of a judicial system and the Revolutionary Guards have orchestrated “a wave of arrests resembling the one unleashed five years earlier” after 2009 protests in Iran, the report said.

“The Rouhani administration has played a role in the arrests as a silent accomplice. Iran continues to be one of the world’s five biggest prisons for news and information providers, with 50 journalists and netizens currently detained.”

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Situation of Human Rights in Iran also has expressed concern about the arbitrary and unlawful arrest and prosecution of journalists and activists in Iran has warned that their persecution weakens the protection of human rights of all in Iran.

The Committee to Protect Journalists routinely ranks Iran as one of the worst jailers of reporters in the world.

More than 50 are known to be in custody today, and these constitute only a fraction of the overall population of prisoners who have been targeted simply for their affiliations, their public activities, or their privately expressed political and religious views.

Source: NCRI, January 16, 2016

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