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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…

Texas has enough drugs to carry out scheduled executions

Texas Death House, 'The Walls' Unit, Huntsville, Texas
Texas Death House, 'The Walls' Unit, Huntsville, Texas
With the first execution of the new year scheduled next week, Texas prison officials said Wednesday that the state has a large enough supply of drugs to carry out the executions already scheduled for 2016.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has been forced to find nontraditional suppliers of execution drugs in recent years because the usual vendors refused to make their drugs available following scrutiny from death penalty opponents.

The state was struggling to replenish its supply of the powerful sedative pentobarbital over the summer, but was able to obtain enough doses to execute six inmates between June and November.

There are nine lethal injections scheduled this year.

"The agency's supply of pentobarbital was purchased from a licensed pharmacy that has the ability to compound," TDCJ spokesman Jason Clark said Wednesday.

There is one more execution scheduled this month, one in February, three in March, two in April and one in June.

Condemned murderer Richard Masterson is set to be put to death Jan. 20 for the 2001 slaying of female impersonator Darrin Honeycutt in Houston. Masterson strangled the victim and stole his vehicle following the murder.

One of the inmates scheduled to die this year is Robert Pruett, who was given a new execution date this week. His lethal injection has been set for April 27.


Source: The Item, Cody Stark, January 14, 2016

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