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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…

Khartoum sentences 22 South Sudanese to death

Khartoum, Sudan
Khartoum, Sudan
An anti-terrorism court in Khartoum has sentenced 22 South Sudanese nationals to death and 3 others to life in prison on Wednesday for belonging to a militant group in Darfur.

"The judge sentenced them to death by hanging on charges of terrorism, fighting the state, bearing arms against the state and undermining the constitutional order," Mahjoub Dawoud, defense attorney, told Reuters.

The defendants belong to the Justice and Equality Movement, a rebel group based in Darfur that took up arms against the Sudanese government in 2003, complaining that their region was being marginalized.

The group, led by Bakhit Abdul Karim (Dabjo), signed a peace agreement with the Khartoum government in 2013.

Shortly after the agreement, the group handed in its weapons to the government and in return the Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, pardoned members of the group.

However, the presidential pardon did not include the 25 South Sudanese nationals. The government considered them foreign fighters and brought them to trial for bearing arms against Sudan.

Lawyers of the defendants said they will appeal the court decision next week, calling the Sudanese authorities to treat their clients as prisoners of war.

Sudan regularly accuses its neighbor of backing insurgents in its Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions.

South Sudan, which split away from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war fueled by ethnicity and oil, dismisses the allegations and accuses Khartoum of arming militias in its territory.

Source: Reuters, April 9, 2016

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