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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…

Nevada schedules what could be 1st execution in a decade, but has no drugs to carry it out

Nevada's brand new $850,000 death chamber
Nevada's brand new $850,000 death chamber
Nevada has a problem on its hands after a Clark County judge ordered an inmate executed: the state has no apparent way to carry it out.

District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti signed an order Thursday ordering Scott Raymond Dozier's execution for the week of Oct. 16. Dozier, 46, has voluntarily given up opportunities to appeal his decade-old death sentence and has repeatedly requested to die.

He was convicted in 2007 of robbing and killing a 22-year-old man at a Las Vegas hotel before dismembering the body. He was also convicted of another murder in Arizona.

Although the state has about 80 people on death row, most die in prison, and a volunteer is rare. Nevada hasn't had an execution since 2006, and only carried out 12 executions since 1977.

The state is required by law to use a lethal injection, but a drug needed to create the lethal injection cocktail has expired. Nevada found none of the 247 vendors it contacted last year were willing to replace it.

Numerous major pharmaceutical companies have refused to supply drugs that they know will be used for execution. This spring, Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda suggested the agency might procure drugs from other states that don't anticipate using them.

On Thursday, the agency was unable to provide details on how they would proceed beyond a short statement.

"The Department is seeking guidance from the Attorney General's Office and will follow all appropriate and legal protocol to ensure state law is followed," it said.

Attorney General Adam Laxalt's office didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Nationwide, difficulties with the drug supply have prompted states to take drastic, controversial measures with the death penalty. 

Officials in Arkansas scheduled 8 executions in 11 days this spring in a race against the expiration dates of their lethal injection drugs, although only 4 were carried out.

Source: The Nevada Independent, July 29, 2017

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