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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…

Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee dies while awaiting execution

Derrick Todd Lee
Derrick Todd Lee
A Louisiana serial killer linked to the gruesome murders of 7 women died Thursday as he awaited execution, officials said.

Derrick Todd Lee's cause of death was not immediately released.

The 47-year-old was moved from the Louisiana State Penitentiary's death row to a hospital Saturday for unknown medical reasons.

An autopsy will be performed by the West Feliciana coroner's office, Pam Laborde, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, told the Advocate.

Lee - who was connected to 7 murders between 1998 and 2003 in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette - appealed his death sentence earlier this year. The Louisiana Supreme Court rejected his bid in September, putting him 1 step closer to execution.

A date had not been set for the execution.

Lee was sentenced to death in 2004 for killing and mutilating LSU graduate student Charlotte Murray Pace in her Baton Rouge home in 2002. The 22-year-old was raped, bludgeoned and stabbed more than 80 times, officials said.

He received a separate life sentence for the 2002 killing of 21-year-old Geralyn Barr DeSoto, of Addis.

Authorities suspect Lee killed 5 other women - Trineisha Dene Colomb, Randi Mebruer, Pam Kinamore, Carrie Lynn Yoder and Gina Wilson Green - between 1998 and 2003, but he was never tried in those cases.

The 6-year killing spree petrified Southern Louisiana, Sinquefield said.

"For a period of time, you had 600,000 people in South Louisiana that were terrified. People afraid to go out of their homes, taking extra security precautions," he told the newspaper.

Source: New York Daily News, January 21, 2016

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