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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…

Dubai court upholds death sentence of Jordanian child rapist, postpones final death verdict on Filipino housemaid

The judicial hearings in the case against a 49 year-old Jordanian man accused of killing and sexually assaulting Obaida - an 8-year-old boy, came to an end on Monday with the Dubai top court upholding the death sentence given by the 2 lower courts. He will also be required to pay Dh21,000 to the aggrieved family

With the verdict being confirmed by the Court of Cassation, it is now irrevocable.

In an earlier hearing, Ali Musabeh, who is representing the defendant - Nidal Eissa Abdullah, argued in his memo that the report of the committee of psychiatrists that mentally evaluated his client was not clear, satisfying or complete in diagnosing his client's anti-social character and showing how his condition was affected by his alcohol addiction.

Musabeh pleaded earlier for the Court of Appeals to exert leniency towards his client on the grounds he was showing regret over what he did. He said his client was under the influence of alcohol and could not recall what happened that night. He also cited his client's claims of being rejected within his own family which contributed somehow to his alcohol abuse, as the accused claimed.

The Dubai public prosecution has been pushing all along for the court to inflict the death penalty against the accused. More recently, Dubai Attorney-General Eissam Issa Al Humaidan stressed he would not rest until the defendant is executed.

That same report concluded Abdullah was mentally stable and sane and thus could be held responsible for his actions and behavior.

Last month, the Court of Appeals upheld the death sentence against the accused who was convicted in August last year of charges including kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing the Jordanian child while drunk.

The boy went missing on May 20, last year, and his body was found 2 days later on the side of a road in Al Warqa.

Convicts sentenced to death are executed in Dubai by a firing squad.

Court postpones verdict on woman convicted for killing boss


A Filipino housemaid who was convicted for killing her male boss in Al Ain might only survive the death sentence if the victim's children refuse to swear in court and opt for blood money, according to court.

The 28-year-old woman was given the death sentence in May 2015 after the Al Ain Criminal Court of First Instance found her guilty of murder.

The Filipina, identified as Jennifer Dalquez however appealed against the sentence with the help of officials from the Philippines Embassy.

Official court documents stated that the woman attacked the Emirati man at his home in Al Ain on December 7, 2014.

The woman, however, denied intentionally killing her boss. She earlier told court that she attacked the man in self-defence because he tried to rape her and that she never meant to hurt or kill him.

On Monday, the Appeal Court in Al Ain was to issue a verdict in the maid's case, but the judge decided to postpone the ruling to a future date so the victim's 2 children appear in court first and swear before he makes the final decision.

The judge will ask the deceased Emirati's children to swear before the court 50 times, in the name of Allah, that Jennifer Dalquez is the only person they know who killed their father and not any other person, said a court official.

"And if this happens, court will uphold the decision of the First Instance Court which gives the Filipino the death penalty," said the official.

"But if the children refuse to swear in court, then the diya or blood money shall apply."

The Filipina will then be ordered to pay blood money of Dh200,000 to the victim's family in addition to serving a jail sentence, which will be decided by court.

Officials from the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabi had provided Dalquez with a defence lawyer and have also promised to continue to provide her with all possible assistance.

The judge adjourned her trial until March 27.

Source: khaleejtimes.com, February 27, 2017

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