FEATURED POST

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…

Nevada: Construction of $858,000 execution chamber moving forward despite drug cutoff

Ely State Prison, Nevada
Ely State Prison, Nevada
The Nevada Department of Corrections is moving forward with the construction of a new execution chamber at Ely State Prison despite the announcement that the drugmaker Pfizer will not allow its drugs to be used for lethal injections.

Pfizer became the last of about 25 Food and Drug Administration-approved drugmakers globally to officially cut off access, The New York Times reported last week. The company manufactures seven drugs that can be used in executions.

Brooke Keast, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Corrections, said the project is proceeding.

"Medication manufacturing can change at any given time," she said in a statement. "And if we receive a court order to execute, we can't say the reason for not following orders is DOC infrastructure."

A Nevada prison official told the Review-Journal in July 2015 that the agency would use the drugs midazolam and hydromorphone to administer a lethal injection.

Both of these drugs are manufactured by Pfizer.

"Pfizer makes its products to enhance and save the lives of the patients we serve," the company said in a statement on Friday. "Consistent with these values, Pfizer strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment."

The Nevada Legislature in the 2015 session approved spending $858,000 to build a new execution chamber at Nevada's maximum-security prison at Ely. The current chamber is in the now-closed Nevada State Prison in the capital.

Nevada has the death penalty and is required by law to use lethal injection for executions.

State officials in December approved a nearly $94,000 contract with the architectural and engineering firm of Kittrell Garlock & Associates of Las Vegas to design the new execution facility.

The last execution, by lethal injection, occurred at the Nevada State Prison on April 26, 2006, when Daryl Mack was put to death. Mack was executed for the rape and murder of a Reno woman, Betty Jane May, in 1988.

Source: Las Veags Review-Journal, May 17, 2016

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