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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…

Saudi Arabia: First execution since Ramadan

Public execution of a Burmese woman in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution of a Burmese woman in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
RIYADH: Saudi authorities executed a murderer in the holy city of Mecca on Sunday, the first death sentence to be carried out since before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Fahd al-Hasni, a Saudi, was put to death after being convicted of stabbing dead a fellow citizen, the interior ministry said in a statement published on the official SPA news agency.

Most people executed in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

It was the 96th execution of the year in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, which imposes the death penalty for offences including murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy.

The last execution in the Gulf country took place on May 29, more than a week before Ramadan began.

There were no beheadings during the fasting month and the following Eid’l Fitr feast.

Rights group Amnesty International says the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences last year, making it the third most prolific executioner after Iran and Pakistan. Its figures do not include secretive China.

The London-based watchdog has said that the rate of executions this year is “higher than at the same point last year.”

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for “terrorism” offences on a single day in January.

They included prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, whose execution prompted Iranian protesters to torch Saudi diplomatic missions triggering the severing of relations between the Middle East’s leading Sunni and Shiite powers.

Source: Agence France-Presse, July 17, 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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