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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…

Number of crimes in Japan falls to postwar low in 2015

Tokyo street
TOKYO — The number of crimes in Japan in 2015 hit a postwar low, the National Police Agency said Thursday, citing an increase in security cameras as well as raised public awareness of crime prevention.

Overall penal code violations decreased 9.3% from the previous year to 1,099,048, falling below the previous record of 1,190,549 set in 1973, the agency said in a preliminary report.

All categories of crimes marked declines from 2014.

The number of thefts, which account for more than 70% of crimes in Japan, dropped to 807,605 from 897,259. Murders fell to 933 from 1,054 with fraud cases down to 39,439 from 41,523.

The crime clearance rate, or the ratio of cases solved by police to total reported crimes, improved to 32.5% from 30.6%, with the ratio for murder and other violent crimes rising to 72.3% from 68.2%, topping 70% for the first time in 16 years.

By age of those subject to police action, the number of juveniles aged between 14 and 19 sharply fell to 39,501 from 142,594 in 2002, when the total number of penal code violations peaked.

That of the elderly aged 65 or older, meanwhile, nearly doubled to 47,643 from the 2002 figure of 24,241, reflecting Japan’s graying society.

Source: Japan Times, January 15, 2016

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