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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…

Singapore Appoints ‘Apprentice’ for Foreign-Language Oscar Run

Apprentice poster
Boo Junfeng’s “Apprentice” has been selected as Singapore’s contender for the foreign-language Academy Awards competition.

The film, about a young man who is asked to perhaps take over as the country’s state executioner, had its world premiere at the Cannes film festival May this year, appearing in the Un Certain Regard section. 

It had its commercial release in Singapore through Clover Films on June 30.

The selection was made by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), which is part of the Media Development Authority of Singapore. 

“Apprentice explores complex and sensitive themes while preserving an honest insight to the characters’ internal conflict and emotions. We believe the film will resonate with international audiences following its successful world premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival,” said SFC director Joachim Ng.

The film is set for an extensive festival run with other stops including Toronto, Busan, and London. International sales, handled by France’s Luxbox, have included deals with Film Movement for North America, Arrow for the U.K., and Version Originale Condor for France.

Production was structured as a five way co-production between Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Qatar. It was produced by Akanga Film Asia, Peanut Pictures and Zhao Wei Films.

Source: Variety, Patrick Frater, September 15, 2016

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