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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…

Indonesian Worker Sentenced to Death in Malaysia for Drug Smuggling

Malaysian immigration officers find drugs hidden in a passenger's luggage.
Malaysian immigration officers find drugs hidden in a passenger's luggage.
Jakarta. 28-year-old Indonesian worker Rita Krisdianti was sentenced to death by a Malaysian court on Monday (30/05) for smuggling 4 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

Rita, of Ponorogo in East Java, was charged with drug trafficking after immigration officers at Penang Airport apprehended her with the drugs on July 10, 2013, after arriving on a flight from Hong Kong.

The drugs were found in a package hidden in Rita's luggage by immigration officers. Rita at that time claimed she had intended to travel to Thailand by bus from Penang on a business trip for her small clothing company.

During her trials, Rita never admitted to the court that the drugs belonged to her.

The court failed to secure testimonies from two key witnesses, a Thai and an Indian national, before issuing the death penalty.

Nusron Wahid, chairman of the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers Office, or BNP2TKI, said the government will file an appeal to the Penang District Court, expecting that “at least there will be no death penalty for Rita.”

The Golkar Party politician is optimistic Malaysia will not execute an Indonesian citizen to maintain a good relationship with its giant neighbor.

Anis Hidayah, the executive director of advocacy group Migrant Care, said Rita was just another victim of drug syndicates which routinely exploit desperate migrant workers to be their drug mules.

According to Anis' account, Rita received the luggage from an Indian national in New Delhi who asked her to deliver it to another person in Thailand.

Before her arrest, Rita had already been returned by her boss to her agent after working for only three months.

“Migrant Care urges the government to investigate and fight drug syndicates who exploit migrant workers for drug-trafficking,” Anis said.

Source: Jakarta Globe, May 31, 2016

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