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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…

Saudi regime carries out 86th beheading in 2016

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Saudi Arabia has decapitated a Pakistani national after sentencing him to death for smuggling drugs, bringing to 86 the number of such executions in the kingdom since the start of this year.

The convicted Pakistani man, identified as Shah Zaman Khan Sayyed, was beheaded in the Riyadh region, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The man was found guilty of attempting to smuggle heroin and amphetamines into the kingdom, the interior ministry added.

Beheading with a sword is the most common form of execution in Saudi Arabia. 

Saudi authorities carry out beheading of a convicted man in public.

The latest beheading occurred as US President Barack Obama is on a 2-day visit to the oppressive kingdom.

Before Obama left for Riyadh to meet with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Britain-based international right group Amnesty International wrote a letter, urging him to consider the country's human rights issues.

In the most stunning case this year, Saudi Arabia executed on January 2 prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr along 46 other people in defiance of international calls for the release of the prominent Shia cleric and other jailed political dissidents in the kingdom.

Saudi authorities have beheaded several opposition figures and dissidents in recent years.

Saudi Arabia carried out 153 executions, including 71 foreign nationals, in 2015. This number of executions in terms of annual basis in Saudi Arabia has been unseen since 1995.

Riyadh has been under fire for having one of the world's highest execution rates.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch has called on the Saudi regime to abolish its "ghastly" beheadings.

Under the Saudi law, apostasy, armed robbery, drug trafficking, rape, homosexuality and murder carry the death penalty. Most Saudi executions are carried out by beheading with a sword.

In summer 2015, Saudi Arabia, with an appalling human rights record, was appointed to head an important panel at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 22, 2016

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