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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…

Scalia family donates late justice’s papers to Harvard Law School Library

US President Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia (right) on July 7, 1986
US President Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia (right) on July 7, 1986
The family of the late Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, has announced that it will donate his papers to the Harvard Law School Library.

The bulk of the Antonin Scalia Collection consists of judicial papers from his tenure on the Supreme Court and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Collection also includes papers from earlier in the Justice’s career, including his prior government service in the U.S. Department of Justice, the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the Office of Telecommunications Policy, as well as his academic career as a law professor at the University of Virginia, the University of Chicago, and elsewhere. Various other materials, including drafts of speeches and articles, correspondence, and records pertaining to his professional appearances and awards, will also be included.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to the family of Justice Scalia for donating these papers to the Harvard Law School Library,” said Martha Minow, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “Justice Scalia will be remembered as one of the most influential jurists in American history — he changed how the Court approaches statutory interpretation, and in countless areas introduced new ways of thinking about the Constitution and the role of the Court that will remain important for years to come. His papers will be a tremendous resource for students, scholars, and the general public for generations to come.”

The Antonin Scalia Collection will be made available for research on a schedule agreed upon by the Scalia family and the Harvard Law School Library. Materials pertaining to Justice Scalia’s work on the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit Court will begin to be opened for research in 2020, although materials regarding specific cases will not be opened during the lifetime of other Justices or judges who participated in the case. 

➤ Click here to read the full article


Source: Harvard Law Today, March 6, 2017

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