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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…

Nebraska: Anti-death penalty group distributes audio clip of Lt. Gov. Mike Foley's remarks against death penalty

Nebraska Governor (R) Pete Ricketts
Nebraska Governor (R) Pete Ricketts
The group campaigning to permanently end the death penalty in Nebraska has released an audio clip of Gov. Pete Ricketts’ lieutenant governor voicing his opposition to it in 2014.

Then-State Auditor Mike Foley was running for governor at the time and was explaining during a debate why he opposed capital punishment, a position that would place him at odds with the eventual winner, Ricketts.

Voters are being asked to decide whether to ratify the Legislature’s repeal of capital punishment.

The group, Retain a Just Nebraska, on Tuesday distributed audio of Foley from that March 2014 debate.

“We don’t have a functioning capital punishment system today in Nebraska,” Foley was recorded saying. “Yet we’re spending millions of dollars pretending that we can execute people. We can’t do it. We don’t have the drug protocol in place, we don’t have the legal structures in place to carry out that objective.”

Ricketts has been a strong proponent of the death penalty and has invested his own money in seeing it restored.

On Tuesday, Foley said in a statement that he would defer to Ricketts. “The Governor sets policy, and he has been clear that his administration supports keeping the death penalty as an option for the most heinous crimes in Nebraska,” Foley wrote.





Source: Omaha World-Herald, November 2, 2016

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