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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…

UN rights expert expresses outrage over execution of 12 people in Iran

Public execution in Iran (file photo)
NCRI - 29 August 2016- Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran Ahmed Shaheed (1), who had earlier this year noted that 'the overall situation has worsened' with respect to human rights," today condemned Iran’s ‘illegal’ execution of 12 people on drug-related charges, following is the press release which was published today by The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

UN rights expert condemns Iran’s ‘illegal’ execution of 12 people on drug-related charges

GENEVA (29 August 2016) – The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, has expressed outrage at the execution on 27 August of 12 people, including Alireza Madadpour, on drug-related charges. 

Mr. Shaheed had appealed publicly on 26 August to the Iranian authorities not to go ahead with the planned executions at Karaj Central Prison.

“The execution of individuals for drug-related offences is simply illegal,” Mr. Shaheed said, noting that international law only allows the imposition of the death penalty for the “most serious crimes”, where there is intentional killing, and after a fair trial that respects the most stringent due process guarantees. None of these conditions were respected, at least in the case of Mr. Madadpour.

“Combating drug trafficking, a serious concern in Iran, does not justify the use of the death penalty in drug-related cases,” the Special Rapporteur stressed.

“The execution of Mr. Madadpour and 11 others shows the Iranian authorities’ complete disregard of its obligations under international human rights law and especially of international fair trial standards and due process guarantees,” Mr. Shaheed added.

The UN expert renewed his call on the Government of Iran to end all executions and to immediately institute a moratorium on the death penalty.

(1) Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives) is a Visiting Professor at Essex University, UK; a former member of the Maldivian presidential Commission Investigating Corruption; and a foreign policy advisor to the President of the Maldives. Mr. Shaheed was Foreign Minister of the Maldives from 2005 to 2007 and from 2008 to 2010. He led the country’s efforts to sign and ratify all nine international human rights Conventions and to implement them in law and practice. He was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council.

Source: NCRI, August 29, 2016

Documentation: Pictures of the 12 Prisoners Executed On August 27


IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (AUG 30 2016): Iran Human Rights (IHR) reported on the execution of 12 prisoners for drug offences in Karaj Central Prison on Saturday August 27.

These executions haven't been announced by the authorities.

A local source in Iran has provided Iran Human Rights with photos of the bodies (Warning: Graphic Content) of these prisoners after they were hanged to death.

The photos were reportedly taken before the bodies of the prisoners were returned to their families.

Sign of the rope is evident on the neck of the prisoners.


Pictures of the bodies of the 12 Prisoners Executed On August 27, 2016
Pictures of the bodies of the 12 Prisoners
Executed On August 27, 2016

Between 50 to 60% of the executions reported by IHR have not been announced by the authorities and are confirmed by its own sources in Iran.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 30, 2016

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