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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…

China: Kiwi drugs-accused Peter Gardner could face death penalty

Peter Gardner was charged with drug trafficking after being caught with 30kg of methamphetamine in China.
Peter Gardner was charged with drug trafficking after
being caught with 30kg of methamphetamine in China.

The New Zealander allegedly caught trying to leave China with $25 million of methamphetamine is expecting to find out his fate within the next month.

Peter Gardner was stopped at Guangzhou Baiyan International Airport in 2014, while travelling back to his home in Australia with then-girlfriend Kalynda Davis.

Gardner claimed ownership of the bags when questioned – but denied the drugs found inside were his.

He said he had been duped into carrying the 30kgs of methamphetamine, and thought he was transporting an order of bodybuilding peptides including Melanotan.

The pair were arrested, but while Davis was later freed and sent home, Gardner was locked up.

He went to trial in front of a panel of three judges last May, and a verdict had been expected within a few weeks of the one-day hearing's conclusion.

If found guilty, Gardner could face the death penalty.

Gardner's parents, Sandra Cornelius and Russell Gardner, travelled to China for the hearing and were granted two short visits with their son.

After Gardner's arrest, it emerged it was his second trip to China - he had previously made one other journey to bring back the legal, performance-enhancing peptides.

Gardner's lawyer Craig Tuck says his client was coping well with the extended wait for a verdict.

"Peter is very thankful for the love and support of his friends and family in New Zealand and Australia."

Tuck said he was now expecting a verdict by the end of April.

If convicted, there would be a 10-day period to appeal, he said.

Source: stuff.co.nz, March 27, 2016

Related content:

Death Penalty News: China: Sydney man Peter Gardner to face ...Apr 30, 2015 ... Sydney man Peter Gardner, 25, has had his death penalty case in a Chinese courtroom brought forward by almost 6 months and will go on trial ...
Australian cop's daughter Kalynda Davis and Peter Gardner may ...Dec 8, 2014 ... Australian cop's daughter Kalynda Davis and Peter Gardner may face firing squad in China for alleged drug trafficking ...
Death Penalty News: China: Customs officials believe Gardner ...Dec 15, 2014 ... Kiwi builder Peter Gardner's chances of avoiding the death penalty in China have rapidly deteriorated with local customs officials revealing that ...
Death Penalty News: Sydney pair faces the death penalty over ...Dec 2, 2014 ... Sydney pair Peter Gardner and Kalynda Davis only met a few weeks ago, but have been charged together by Chinese authorities after ...
Death Penalty News: April 2015Apr 30, 2015 ... A dual New Zealand/Australian citizen, Gardner was arrested at .... China: Sydney man Peter Gardner to face Guangzhou court over drug ...
Death Penalty News: Parents of New Zealander facing execution in ...Jun 1, 2015 ... Peter Gardner, 26, was detained on November 8 when Customs allegedly found more than 30 kilograms of methamphetamine in his luggage ...

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