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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…

North Carolina: Teen supporter of ISIS accused of killing neighbor will face death penalty

Justin Sullivan
Justin Sullivan
Prosecutors announced Monday that they will seek the death penalty against a Burke County teen and ISIS supporter accused of robbing and killing his neighbor to get an assault rifle so he could commit mass murder.

Justin Nojan Sullivan, 19, was arrested last June and is accused of plotting to kill up to 1,000 people in support of ISIS, an Islamic terrorist organization. Court documents unsealed last month link him directly to the previously unsolved 2014 murder of John Bailey Clark, 74, who lived down the street from Sullivan and his parents on Carswell Road in Morganton.

Court documents said Sullivan planned to use the money he stole from Clark to buy the rifle. Clark was shot several times in the head. Deputies found him in a shallow grave on his property.

According to court documents, federal authorities believe Clark’s murder came after Sullivan had converted to Islam and began watching beheadings and other violent ISIS acts on the Internet. Around that same time, ISIS sent out a worldwide call for attacks against citizens and soldiers of any country involved in the U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic group.

The investigation started after a 911 call in April 2015 from Sullivan’s parents who said their son was pouring gasoline over their religious items. “I don’t know if it’s ISIS or what, but he is destroying Buddhas and figurines and stuff,” his stepfather said, according to earlier documents. “We’re afraid to leave the house.”

The investigation included using an undercover officer to connect with Sullivan and learn about his intent.

According to court documents, Sullivan referred to himself as “The Mujahid,” or a guerrilla warrior in defense of Allah and Islam.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, Cleve R. Wootson Jr., March 14, 2016

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