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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…

Japan: Death penalty sought for man over 1998 murder of Aichi couple

Osaka Prison cell where inmates are held in solitary confinement
Osaka Prison cell where inmates are held in solitary confinement
NAGOYA — Prosecutors on Monday demanded the death penalty for a man indicted over the 1998 murder and robbery of a couple in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan.

The death penalty was sought for Hiroshi Sato, 39, in a lay judge trial at the Nagoya District Court over the murder of company executive Ichio Magoori, 45, and his wife Satomi, 36, in the city of Hekinan.

Prosecutors said Sato “committed a cruel and evil crime, taking the lives of a couple who had done nothing wrong just to get money.” The court is expected to hand down a ruling on Feb 5.

Sato’s accomplice, Yoshitomo Hori, 40, who was sentenced to death in December, has appealed the ruling.

According to the indictment, Sato conspired with Hori and Teruo Hayama to kill the couple at their home and stole approximately 60,000 yen in June 1998. The three men were co-workers at the time.

Sato’s defense counsel urged the court not to sentence him to death, saying he “just helped his accomplices and has reflected on what he did, praying for the repose of the couple’s souls.”

Sato offered an apology to the relatives of the victims in the trial.

Separately, Sato and Hori have been indicted for attempting to kill a woman in her 70s by strangling her at her home in Nagoya and robbing her of around 25,000 yen in 2006.

Source: Japan Today, January 26, 2016

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