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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…

Indonesia's AG Secures Job by Capitalizing on Executions: Watchdog

Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo
Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo
Jakarta. H.M. Prasetyo has continued to secure his position as attorney general despite President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's cabinet reshuffle due to his tenacity to execute drug convicts, Hendardi, chairman of political watchdog Setara Institute told Suara Pembaruan on Thursday (28/07).

“[Attorney General] Prasetyo, who lacks any [significant career] achievements, continues to capitalize on the executions [and the president's apparent zero tolerance policy on the issue] to mask his shortcomings in anti-corruption enforcement and resolving human rights violations,” Hendardi said.

Prasetyo, according to Hendardi, was in panic over the cabinet reshuffle as plans for the executions were already underway.

“The future of human rights is hardly [promising given that we have] an attorney general who has no interest in human rights. Moreover with [newly appointed] Chief Security Minister Wiranto, it is almost certain that Jokowi’s campaign and promises on human rights would be hard to fulfill,” Hendardi added.

Misguided priorities

“[On an] evaluation of law enforcement process, drug eradication and penitentiary management should be the main priorities instead of taking the lives of death row convicts, which ultimately does not have any deterrent effect,” Hendardi said.

Hendardi strongly condemned capital punishment saying that it is against basic human rights and its enforcement is a violation of the Indonesian constitution.

“I refuse and condemn [capital punishment] and I urge the government to scrap death penalty sentences from the Indonesian legal system,” Hendardi said.

Source: Jakarta Globe, Siprianus Edi Hardum & Eko Prasetyo, July 28, 2016


Indonesians think corruption is worsening, survey says

Most Indonesians perceive that corruption has worsened in the country based on the frequency of electronic and print media outlets producing corruption-related news reports, a survey has revealed.

The survey commissioned by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) found that 66.4 percent of respondents believed corruption in Indonesia had worsened in the nearly two years since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office. Only 10.8 percent of respondents thought corruption cases in Indonesia had decreased, while the remaining 21.3 percent said the cases remained stagnant.

“Although they think that the number of corruption cases are increasing, 50.4 percent of the respondents believe that the country is serious about eradicating corruption,” CSIS researcher Arya Fernandes told a press conference on Tuesday, adding that 28.2 percent of respondents said the government was not serious enough.

Conducted from April 17 to 29, the survey involved 3,900 respondents aged at least 19 years old who gave their answers in a one-on-one interview. They comprised 1,900 respondents from Aceh, Banten, North Sumatra, Papua, and Riau, which were claimed as vulnerable to corruption by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Meanwhile, 2,000 respondents were from 29 other provinces.

CSIS politics and international relations department head Vidhyandika Djati Perkasa said the survey’s respondents believed most graft convicts received light punishments, which led to the increase in corruption cases.

He added that court judges tended to impose punishments on graft convicts that were lighter than what prosecutors had demanded, thereby not creating a deterrent effect.

In 2014, the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) observed 479 graft convicts and said 372 of them received less than four years’ imprisonment, with an average punishment of 2.8 years in prison.

Source: Jakarta Post, July 27, 2016

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

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Why Texas’ ‘death penalty capital of the world’ stopped executing people