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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…

Hamas announces public executions that will 'take Gaza past Saudi Arabia'

Hamas members prepare to execute Palestinians for allegedly spying for Israel in August 2014.
Hamas members prepare to execute Palestinians for allegedly spying for Israel
in August 2014.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas is to carry out a string of public executions in the Gaza strip, the patch of territory it controls.

The executions were announced by Hamas's attorney general in Gaza, Ismail Jaber. "Capital punishments will be implemented soon in Gaza," he said. "I ask that they take place before a large crowd."

13 men, most convicted of murder connected to robberies, are currently awaiting execution, another Hamas official, Khalil al-Haya, said on Friday at the main prayers.

If all those go ahead, Gaza's execution rate relative to the size of its population will overtake that of Saudi Arabia's in one go.

Last year, Saudi Arabia, with a population of 31.5 million, executed 153 people. Though one of the most densely populated territories in the world, Gaza has a population of just 1.8 million.

Palestinian law allows the death penalty for collaborators, murderers and drug traffickers.

On Sunday, the families of the victims of those on death row protested in favour of the executions outside Gaza's parliament, after the authorities gave a rare permission to stage a public demonstration.

The last time Hamas carried out public executions was during the summer 2014 war with Israel, when a Hamas firing squad shot dead 7 people outside Gaza's main mosque following Friday prayers. Bodies were then dragged through the streets.

According to a May 2015 report by Amnesty International, Hamas forces also carried out at least 23 extrajudicial killings of Palestinians in Gaza in 2014, with at least 17 people killed on 1 day alone.

So far in 2016, approximately 10 people have been sentenced to death in Gaza.

Since the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, more than 170 Palestinians have been sentenced to death and around 30 have been executed, mostly in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

All execution orders must in theory be approved by the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, but his legitimacy is not recognised by Hamas in the Gaza strip.

In February this year, it was announced that Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a commander from Hamas's military wing, was executed in Gaza by a firing squad.

Source: telegraph.co.uk, May 24, 2016

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