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Death Penalty, Underage Marriage and Stem Cell Therapy: Thursday’s Show (February 18, 2016)

The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty holds its annual conference this weekend in Houston. Harris County has been described in the past as the death penalty capital of the world because so many death sentences were once handed down here, but last year there were only two. On this edition of Houston Matters, […]

The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty holds its annual conference this weekend in Houston. Harris County has been described in the past as the death penalty capital of the world because so many death sentences were once handed down here, but last year there were only two.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we explore what’s behind that decline, and other developments surrounding the death penalty with Ken Williams, professor of law at South Texas College of Law. He’s the author of a book about the death penalty called Most Deserving of Death?

Also this hour: Michael Hagerty talks with the Houston Chronicle’s Frankie Ortega about her mother who, back in the 1970s, was forced by her mother to get married at the age of 14 to a 21 year old Texas man. Ortega notes underage marriages are still, in fact, legal in Texas under certain conditions and may happen across the country more often than you think.

Then: This weekend, UT Health Neuroscience Research Center hosts a 90-minute forum to discuss prospects for the future use of stem cell therapy to treat neurological diseases, like Parkinson’s and traumatic brain injuries. We learn more from Erin Furr-Stimming,  Associate Professor of Neurology at UT Health, Memorial Hermann’s Mischer Neuroscience Institute, and Harris Health System.

Plus: There’s a strange phenomenon you may have witnessed during your evening commute over the past couple of months. We’re talking about huge flocks of black birds perched in some pretty odd places, including highway exit signs and parking lots. Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin investigates what’s behind the spectacle.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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