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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…

Japan: Death penalty to stand for woman convicted of murdering 2 men

Miyuki Ueta
Miyuki Ueta
TOKYO -- The death sentence given to a woman convicted of murdering two men in the western Japan prefecture of Tottori in 2009 is set to be finalized after the Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings Thursday.

The top court said in its ruling that the defendant carried out the premeditated and "cruel crimes based on firm intentions to kill" and she bears "grave criminal responsibility."

According to the lower court rulings, Miyuki Ueta, a 43-year-old former bar worker, drugged truck driver Kazumi Yabe, 47, and drowned him in the sea in April 2009 and she drugged and drowned in a river electronics store owner Hideki Maruyama, 57, in October of the same year.

Ueta, who owed money to both victims, maintained her innocence and the verdicts were based mainly on circumstantial evidence, including that Ueta was the last person to meet with the men before they went missing and she obtained sleeping pills beforehand.

In coming to his decision, judge Koike concluded that Ueta was the last point of contact for both victims; put the victims to sleep with drug-filled concoctions just before their deaths; and committed the crimes to escape from debts.

The defense had argued that it was impossible for Ueta to bring drugged men to the crime scenes herself.

In 2012, Ueta was sentenced to death by the Tottori District Court. Two years later, the Hiroshima High Court rejected an appeal by the defense.

Source: Japan Today, July 27, 2017

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