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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…

Saudi Supreme Court upholds death penalty for 14 in Al-Awamiya cell and 15 for spying for Iran

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The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence issued by the Specialist Criminal Court and supported by the Specialist Penal Appeals Court against 14 Saudis including a security man considered a traitor and 2 wanted militants on the "list of 23" in what is known as the Al-Awamiya cell.

The accused are facing the death penalty due to their involvement in terrorist crimes in Al-Qatif, Saihat, Al-Awamiya and Al-Jash in the Eastern Province. 

They carried out over 50 armed terrorist attacks on Al-Awamiya and Al-Qatif police stations and Al-Qatif Prison. 

They also targeted several checkpoints and 20 security patrols. These resulted in the martyrdom of several security men and injury to scores.

In another development, Okaz has learned that the Specialist Penal Appeals Court has upheld the verdicts issued by the Specialist Criminal Court against the members of a spy ring accused of espionage for Iranian Intelligence. 

The verdicts include the death sentence for 15 Saudis and various jail terms ranging from 6 months to 25 years against 14 Saudis and Iranians. Meanwhile, a Saudi and an Afghani were acquitted.

All the sessions of the Specialist Criminal Court in Riyadh on national security-related cases are open to the local media and representatives of diplomatic and rights bodies.

Source: Saudi Gazette, July 27, 2017

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