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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…

Egypt sentences 28 to death for prosecutor’s slaying

Egyptian prison
Hesham Barakat was assassinated in a Cairo car bombing in June 2015

Cairo: An Egyptian court Saturday sentenced 28 people to death by hanging after convicting them of involvement in the murder of the country’s chief prosecutor Hesham Barakat in a bombing more than two years ago.

Fifteen co- defendants were given life sentences and eight others jail terms for 15 years each. The Cairo Criminal Court, which heard the case, also handed 15 other accused 10 years in prison each.

The court dropped the charges against one accused who had died in jail during the trial that started in June last year.

All verdicts can be appealed.

Last month, the court recommended death sentences for 30 defendants in the case. 

The verdicts were later referred to the grand mufti, Egypt’s top religious authority, to approve or reject-- a routine procedure in the mostly Muslim country for death sentences.

Barakat was assassinated on June 29, 2015 when a car bomb went off near his convoy in the Cairo quarter of Heliopolis. He was 64.

He was the highest Egyptian official to be killed in a wave of militant violence that has hit Egypt since the 2013 army’s toppling of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi following massive street protests against his rule.

Egypt blamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian Hamas group of standing behind Barakat’s killing, charges both movements have denied.

Over the past four years, hundreds of the now-outlawed Brotherhood have been detained and jailed in different cases on charges of inciting or involvement in violence in Egypt.

Source: Gulf News, July 22, 2017

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