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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…

"I cannot execute convicted murderers," Tanzania's president declares

Tanzanian President John Magufuli
Tanzanian President John Magufuli has stated clearly that he cannot assent to an execution of the death penalty which is legal in the East African country.

He said on Monday during the swearing in of Chief Justice Ibrahim Hamis Juma in Dar es Salaam, that he cannot make that "difficult decision" on the execution of convicted murderers.

"I know there are people who convicted of murder and waiting for death penalty, but please don't bring the list to me for decision because I know how difficult it is to execute," he said.

Tanzania's Penal Code, Cap 16 stipulates the death penalty for serious offenses like murder and treason.

According to the Tanzanian NGO Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC), 472 people were sentenced to death in 2015 and among them are 20 women.

The Executive Director of LHRC, Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba, commended the president for his stance but demanded that he goes further to abolish the penalty.

"We need the abolition of this penalty due to the fact that it can't be implemented; in this case, it should be wise for the judges to change punishment from death to life imprisonment or sentenced to 30 and above years in jail," she was quoted by local media Azania Post.

Only about 20 countries have abolished the death penalty with Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan still practicing executions.

Tanzania last executed a convict in 1994.

Rights Body Commends Magufuli's Stance On Death Sentence


The Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC) has commended President John Magufuli's stance on the execution of a death sentence.

During the Swearing in of the Chief Justice (CJ) Prof Ibrahim Juma at State House on Monday September 11, President Magufuli said he is not going to sign any death penalty certificate.

The LHRC Executive Director, Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba, said the Head of State's statement was encouraging, however, he should influence changes of the law to abolish the punishment or provide lighter ones.

"The 3rd and 4th phase president's position on death sentence was known in spite of the fact that they didn't declare publicly. President Magufuli has publicly declared his position, but he should go beyond that," she said adding:

"The Head of State should influence changes to relieve judges and magistrates with difficulties they at the time of making rulings."

Meanwhile, LHRC has condemned assassination attempt against Singida East MP on Chadema ticket Tundu Lissu.

Dr Bisimba said Mr Lissu's attack has raised concern on the country's security. The rights group has recorded a total of 37 peace threatening incidents since 2015.

Therefore, she suggested that an independent commission of inquiry should be formed by the Parliament and international organs to comprehensively investigate the matter.

"Also, people implicated in previous attacks should be arrested and prosecuted. The legal profession should be left to freely fulfill its duties and that clerics should condemn attacks with all efforts," she said.

Mr Lissu who is also the President of the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) and Opposition Chief Whip is now admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi Kenya where he was referred after surviving gunshots.

Source: africanews.com, Sept. 13, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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