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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…

Indonesia: Jessica Kumala Wongso Charged With Premeditated Murder, Could Face Death

Jessica Kumala Wongso
Jessica Kumala Wongso
Police in Jakarta have charged Jessica Kumala Wongso, a suspect in the high-profile murder of her friend, Wayan Mirna Salihin, with premeditated murder, which means she could face the death penalty, an official said on Saturday.

The 27-year-old was named a suspect at 11 p.m. on Friday, and investigators subsequently arrested her at 7.30 a.m. the next day at Hotel Neo, Mangga Dua Square, Central Jakarta.

"She has been charged with Article 340 of the Criminal Code on premeditated murder," said Sr. Comr. Krishna Murti, general crimes director of the Jakarta Police.

The article carries a minimum jail sentence of 20 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison or death.

"[As this is a case] with a sentence [prospect] of more than 5 years, we could detain her," Krishna said. "We have 24 hours to question her before deciding [whether to extend] the detention."

Jessica was brought in to the Jakarta Police headquarters at 10. p.m. for questioning, but as of 4 p.m., investigators were still waiting for the arrival of her legal defense team.

"If her lawyers don't show up, the state will provide her with legal assistance," Krishna said.

Contacted separately, one of Jessica's lawyers, Andi Yoesoef, said that his team would accompany her, but he also called Saturday's arrest deplorable, claiming his team was not informed of it beforehand.

"It is the right of police, but at the very least, they should have provided prior notice," he said.

"Yudi will attend today's questioning," Andi said, referring to another lawyer for Jessica, Yudi Wibowo Sukinto.

Jessica has been at the center of police investigations into Mirna's case in recent weeks.

Mirna, also 27, suffered convulsions on Jan. 6 at Olivier cafe in Grand Indonesia shopping mall shortly after taking a sip of her Vietnamese iced coffee. She was then taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.

Lab tests confirmed there were traces of highly toxic cyanide inside her stomach, as well as in the drink she consumed.

Police said the drink was ordered by Jessica, who arrived at the cafe almost an hour earlier.

Investigators have questioned Jessica as a witness at least five times and searched her home, while at the request of police, the immigration office had also imposed a travel ban.

Source: Jakarta Globe, January 30, 2016

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