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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…

Arkansas governor sets execution dates for 8 inmates

Executions have been set for (top row, from left) Kenneth Williams, Jack Jones Jr., Marcell Williams, Bruce Earl Ward, and (bottom row, from left) Don Davis, Stacey Johnson, Jason McGehee and Ledelle Lee.
Executions have been set for (top row, from left) Kenneth Williams,
Jack Jones Jr., Marcell Williams, Bruce Earl Ward, and (bottom row, from
left) Don Davis, Stacey Johnson, Jason McGehee and Ledelle Lee.
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has set execution dates for eight death row inmates, even though the state lacks one of three drugs needed to put the men to death.

According to copies of proclamations given to the secretary of state's office Monday, the state will conduct the executions in pairs on four days between April 17 and April 27.

However, it remains unclear if the Department of Corrections is capable of conducting executions, as one of the three drugs in Arkansas’ current protocol expired last month.

A prisons spokesman said Monday the state's supply of potassium chloride has not changed since it expired last month. 

He also said he was not aware of any efforts to find another batch.

Arkansas hasn't executed an inmate since 2005.

Ongoing attempts to carry out executions in the state have been halted in recent years by court challenges and difficulty obtaining drugs.

The executions are set to be carried out as followed, according to the governor's proclamation:

  • Don Davis and Bruce Earl Ward are scheduled to die on April 17.
  • Ledelle Lee and Stacey Johnson are scheduled to die April 20.
  • Marcell Williams and Jack Jones Jr. are scheduled to die April 24.
  • Jason McGehee and Kenneth Williams are scheduled to die April 27.


Source: Arkansas Online, February 27, 2017

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