Entries tagged with “Harris County

Facts & Research

Sentencing Data

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Executions Overview

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Dec 05, 2017

No Executions in the Capital of Capital Punishment” for First Time in 30 Years

Harris County (Houston), Texas, has exe­cut­ed 126 pris­on­ers since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Texas’s cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment statute in 1976, more than any oth­er coun­ty in the United States and, apart from the rest of Texas, more than any state. But in 2017, no one will be sen­tenced to death in Harris County and, for the first time since 1985, no one sen­tenced to death in the coun­ty will be executed.

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Representation

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Oct 20, 2016

OUTLIER COUNTIES: Former Death Penalty Capital Shows Signs of Change

Harris County, Texas, the coun­ty that leads the nation in exe­cu­tions, has served as a bell­wether in recent years of the nation­wide decline of the death penal­ty. Although the 10 new death sen­tences imposed in Harris County since 2010 are more than were imposed in 99.5% of U.S. coun­ties, they are sig­nif­i­cant­ly few­er than the 53 new death sen­tences that were hand­ed down in Harris in 1998 – 2003 and the 16 from 2004 – 2009. The 2016 Kinder Institute sur­vey of Houston res­i­dents showed that just 27% pre­fer the death penal­ty over life…

Facts & Research

Public Opinion

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May 26, 2020

Poll Finds Record-Low Support for Death Penalty Among Houstonians

Just 20% of Houstonians — a record low — now sup­port the death penal­ty over life-sen­tenc­ing alter­na­tives, a new Rice University sur­vey has found. The 2020 Houston Area Survey by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, released on May 4, 2020, found that death-penal­ty sup­port has declined by more than half since the turn of the 21st cen­tu­ry in the city of 2.3 mil­lion residents.

Executions

Upcoming Executions

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Executions Overview

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Sep 27, 2021

Texas Executes Rick Rhoades, the First Execution from Harris County in Two Years

In a case that reflects the wan­ing use of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, even in the some of the coun­ties that have car­ried out the most exe­cu­tions in mod­ern times, Rick Rhoades on September 28, 2021 became the first per­son con­vict­ed in Harris County (Houston), Texas to be exe­cut­ed in two years.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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May 28, 2020

Texas Federal Judge Overturns Death-Row Prisoner’s Conviction, Finding Now-Celebrity TV Host Hid Evidence of Misconduct

A fed­er­al dis­trict court judge has over­turned the con­vic­tion and death sen­tence of Texas death-row pris­on­er Ronald Prible, find­ing that celebri­ty true crime” host Kelly Siegler (pic­tured) had engaged in exten­sive mis­con­duct as a Harris County homi­cide pros­e­cu­tor in Prible’s cap­i­tal tri­al in 2002. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison grant­ed relief on six sep­a­rate claims that Siegler hid excul­pa­to­ry evi­dence from the defense, pro­vid­ed undis­closed favors to prison infor­mants in exchange for them fab­ri­cat­ing false con­fes­sions, and vio­lat­ed Prible’s right to rep­re­sen­ta­tion by using prison infor­mants as agents of the…