Last week in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, (“Time to End the Death Penalty in Texas,” April 10, 2012), columnist Bob Ray Sanders called on the abolition movement to “gather steam [and] wage an all-out legal assault and awareness campaign to change these barbaric laws one state legislature at a time.” This call has already been heard in Connecticut, where last Wednesday – after nearly 10 hours of debate – the Connecticut House of Representatives passed legislation to abolish the death penalty by a vote of 86 to 62. This followed Senate passage of the bill by a vote of 20 to 16. Governor Dan Malloy is expected to sign the bill into law at any moment, making Connecticut the 5th state in 5 years to abandon the death penalty.
Momentum has been building for several years now, both nationwide and here in Texas where we see signs of progress in the decline in executions and historic low number of new death sentences. We need your help to continue to gather steam! Please donate to TCADP today to advance these ongoing awareness campaigns in communities throughout Texas:
- In Bexar County, where we just finished a speaker’s tour with death row exonoree Juan Melendez. Juan participated in 10 events in 4 days, reaching hundreds of community members and students with his inspiring story of hope and survival. Watch news coverage of his visit.
- In El Paso, where TCADP members recently participated in a training to hone their advocacy and outreach skills.
- In Dallas, where members will gather this Sunday to learn about upcoming initiatives and where Texas death row exonoree Anthony Graves will address the congregation of Friendship-West Baptist Church.
- In Bryan/College Station, which hosted a visit earlier this month by Jan Brown, who shared her own personal journey on the death penalty in the wake of the murder of her daughter, Kandy Kirtland, 25 years ago.
- In Houston, where TCADP will participate in several important gatherings this summer, including the Texas State Democratic Convention, the Texas Black Expo, and the national convention of the NAACP.
- In Austin, where members are engaged in a religious outreach effort that will culminate in an event with Sister Helen Prejean this fall.
It takes people power, time, and financial resources to rally our forces and gather steam for these campaigns. You all have a pivotal role to play in our efforts.
Bob Ray Sanders ends his column with this declaration and call to action: “We are a nation that should be better than this. Let’s vow to end capital punishment in this country, now and forever.”
I know that you share this vision for justice, too. Please donate today to fulfill our vow to end the death penalty in Texas!
Thank you for your support and generosity.
p.s. Consider becoming a TCADP Partner for Justice by making a recurring gift on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis and ensuring a steady, reliable source of steam for abolition! Go to www.tcadp.org/donate for details.