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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…

Family of Spaniard Pablo Ibar cautious ahead of new trial

Pablo Ibar
Pablo Ibar
Kin of Spaniard on death row in U.S. cautious ahead of new trial

Family and supporters of Pablo Ibar, a Spanish citizen sentenced to death in Florida for a 1994 triple-murder, said here Thursday that while they welcome a decision to grant him a new trial, they remain wary.

Ibar's father and cousin and the spokesman for the Pablo Ibar Association Against the Death Penalty, Andres Krakenberger, met Thursday morning with the president of the Basque regional parliament, Bakartxo Tejeria, and other lawmakers.

After the round of meetings, they told reporters they hope to convince the parliament to issue an institutional declaration in favor of Ibar.

Krakenberger said the different parties have been favorable to supporting this cause "of evident injustice."

In February, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the 2000 murder conviction of the 45-year-old Ibar, who has been imprisoned for almost 22 years, 15 of them on death row.

The 4-3 decision means Ibar will get a new trial on charges he took part in the 1994 murders of nightclub owner Casimir "Butch Casey" Sucharski, 48, and models Sharon Anderson and Marie Rogers, both 25.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday formally returned the case to a court in Broward County, just north of Miami, where the crime took place.

Krakenberger said Thursday that though the new trial should begin within 90 days, there is a series of variables that could influence the situation, including the fact that the prosecution may ask for a postponement.

Despite the fact that they're optimistic, Krakenberger urged people not to "lower your guard" or to "celebrate," because prosecutors continue to seek the death penalty for Ibar.

When asked about how the citizen and institutional campaign is going to collect the funds needed to pay for the cost of a new trial, Krakenberger said that they have a little over half the required money in hand and that the lawyers have begun working on the pretrial preparations.

Ibar's father Candido said that the family is encouraged and hopeful, adding that his son is doing well, although he's also a little "nervous" about the new phase that's beginning now.

Source: Fox news, May 2, 2016

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