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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…

Florida Supreme Court removes 2 killers from death row

Florida's death chamber
Florida's death chamber
The Florida Supreme Court is ordering that two murderers be removed from death row and sentenced to life.

The court issued its ruling Thursday, reducing the sentences of men convicted of unrelated double-murders in Polk County and Jacksonville.

Robert McCloud was convicted of the October 2009 murders of Tamiqa Taylor and Dustin Freeman during a drug robbery committed in Poinciana. 

The court ruled that he shouldn't have been sentenced to death when three co-defendants received lesser sentences — especially since a jury determined McCloud wasn't the shooter.

Terrance Phillips was convicted of the December 2009 murders of Mateo Hernandez-Perez and Reynaldo Antunes-Padilla in Jacksonville. 

The court considered the fact that Phillips was 18 at the time of the crime and borderline intellectually disabled in reducing his sentence.

Source: The Associated Press, November 17, 2016

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