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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…

Philippines: Death penalty dropped from list of urgent bills

House of Representatives, Manila, Philippines
House of Representatives, Manila, Philippines
The death penalty bill is conspicuously absent from the list of 35 measures the Senate and the House of Representatives have agreed to prioritize in the second regular session of the 17th Congress.

Leaders of the 2 chambers agreed on Wednesday to pass bills on tax reforms, traffic emergency powers and the end of endo, or contractualization, before the end of 2017, as well as to revise the 1987 Constitution and approve the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Not on the priority list is the bill restoring the death penalty, which has been passed on third reading by the House and one of the measures pushed by President Duterte during his State of the Nation Address on Monday.

"We agreed to disagree on some things," House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said at a press briefing.

The meeting, attended by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, as well as the majority and minority leaders of the 2 chambers, took place on Wednesday morning at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, where they set targets for the passage of priority bills.

Four quarters


Speaking to reporters afterward, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas said consensus was reached by both leaderships to divide the 2nd regular session into 4 quarters.

The 1st quarter starts from Monday until the adjournment in October, the 2nd will cover November and December, the 3rd January and March 2018, and the 4th May and June 2018.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III told reporters the plan was to approve the priority bills in 2 quarters.

"There is a list of priority measures that are already pending on 2nd, 2rd reading and passed on the committee level," Sotto said.

Farinas noted that many of the measures had already been passed by the House over the past 12 months, including the first tax reform package and the proposed National Land Use Act.

Some of the measures the Congress leaders want to pass in the next 3 months are the proposed Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act, national ID system, antidiscrimination bill and the measure seeking to end the practice of contractualization, or the short-term contracting of labor.

The lawmakers did not give a clear time frame for the proposal to revise the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for the switch to the federal system.

BBL timetable


On the proposed BBL, a draft copy of which was submitted to President Duterte two weeks ago, Sotto said they hoped they would be able to pass the measure by the end of the year.

Mr. Duterte has said he will certify the BBL as urgent.

Farinas said the proposed BBL might have to be "tied with" the federalization measure, as certain constitutional provisions would be affected in creating a new self-governing region for majority-Muslim provinces in Mindanao.

He said the House and the Senate agreed to form a technical working group to propose changes to the Constitution.

Source: newsinfo.inquirer.net, July 27, 2017

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