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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…

Manila lawmaker files bill reviving death penalty

Philippine police officers
Philippine police officers
A member of the House of Representatives from Metro Manila filed the first bill for the revival of the controversial death penalty in support of the vow of President Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte to stamp out corruption and rampant criminality especially illegal drugs "in 3 to 6 months."

Congressman Ruffy Biazon of Muntinlupa City in Metro Manila said his bill sought to amend the law banning the imposition of capital punishment which Congress had passed in 2004.

"Filing the bill ahead will give the bill (an advantage) so it could be referred to the (appropriate) House committee and hopefully, taken up ahead in its agenda," Biazon pointed out.

Biazon was among the 90 House members who filed their pet bills on the first day of the filing on Thursday before the House and the Senate would open the 16th Congress on July 25 for a joint session to hear Duterte deliver his first state-of-nation address.

Duterte strongly urged the revival of the death penalty to strengthen his vow for an all-out war on corruption and rampant criminality especially illegal drugs which, he warned, were destroying particularly the youth of the land.

But even before Congress could act on its revival, officials said an intensified police campaign resulted in the death of more than 60 suspected "drug lords" and dealers since the May 9 election.

On Friday, police reported that at least 8 more "major" drug dealers - 6 from Bulacan in Central Luzon and 1 each from Sorsogon in the Bicol Region and Negros Oriental in the Visayas - were killed in "shoot-outs" a day after Duterte took his oath as the country's 16th president.

Duterte pressed for the restoration of the death penalty despite strong opposition from Pope Francis as well as local human rights advocates led by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Without referring to any country, Pope Francis warned against the return of capital punishment in his recent message sent to an international conference against its revival which was hosted by Oslo in Norway.

The Philippine Congress abolished the death penalty and replaced it with life imprisonment which was imposed on "heinous" crimes like plunder, illegal drugs, murder, kidnap-for-ransom, robbery-homicide and rape.

Source: The Gulf Today, July 2, 2016

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