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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…

Gay Iranian Teenager Denied Lawyer and Executed for Allegedly Raping Other Teen

Gay Iran
A secondary school pupil has been executed in Iran after being convicted of raping another boy.

During a two-month trial in early 2015, in which he had no legal representation, Hassan Afshar, 19, was found guilty of “lavat-e be onf” – forced male to male anal intercourse.

“Homosexual conduct” remains illegal under Iran’s Sharia law and is punishable by fines, public flogging or execution.

Magdalena Mughrabi, an interim deputy director at Amnesty International, said Iran had proved that “its sickening enthusiasm” for putting juveniles to death, in contravention of international law, knew no bounds.

“Hassan was a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested. He had no access to a lawyer and the judiciary rushed through the investigation and prosecution, convicting and sentencing him to death within two months of his arrest as though they could not execute him quickly enough,” she said.

“In a cruel stroke of irony, officials did not inform Hassan Afshar of his death sentence for around seven months while he was held in a juvenile detention facility because they did not want to cause him distress – and yet astonishingly were still prepared to execute him.

“With this execution, Iranian authorities have demonstrated once again their callous disregard for human rights.”

Just days after Afshar was executed, the authorities scheduled Alireza Tajiki, another youth who was under 18 at the time of his alleged offence, for execution.

The implementation of his death sentence, which had been scheduled to take place last week, was postponed following public pressure.

Amnesty International claims Iran executed at least 75 juvenile offenders between 2005 and 2015 – including 13 last year.

Source: qnews.com.au, Rod Gardiner, August 9, 2017

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