December 2013 Texas Death Penalty Alert: Announcing TCADP’s Annual Award Winners

In This Edition: 
Scheduled Executions
Announcements
Take Action
In the News
Upcoming Events
In Memoriam
Calendar

Executions
The State of Texas carried out its final execution of the year, December 3. Jerry Martin was put to death for the 2007 murder of Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison guard Susan Canfield during a prison escape from the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. He was convicted in Walker County. Earlier this year, Martin waived his right to further appeal his case. Read more in the Austin Chronicle.

Six executions already have been scheduled for 2014.

TCADP encourages all members to attend a vigil in your community on the evening of executions. Information and updates on these cases will be available on our website and through Facebook and Twitter. 

Announcements
TCADP Announces 2014 Award Winners
The TCADP Board of Directors is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2014 Annual Awards, which will be presented at our 2014 Annual Conference: “Lighting the Way” on February 22, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Appreciation Award: Ariana Campos, who has provided critical logistical support for TCADP’s activities in the State Capitol since 2009.

Appreciation Award: Maria Castillo, one of TCADP’s stalwart volunteers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, for her incredible outreach efforts.

Appreciation Award: Paula Keeth, a steadfast advocate for abolition and devoted member of the TCADP Dallas Chapter, for her commitment to the issue and inspiration of others.

Appreciation Award: Burnham Terrell, for his faithful work coordinating the Houston-area execution vigils for many years.  The award will be presented post-humously.  Learn more about Burnham below.

Courage Award: State Representative Terry Canales, in recognition of his public statement in support of ending the death penalty during the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee’s hearing on House Bill 1703 by Rep. Jessica Farrar on April 29, 2013

David P. Atwood Founder’s Award: State Representative Lon Burnam, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to justice and his contributions to abolition and to TCADP, both within and outside of the Texas Legislature

Read more about these winners.

Please join us in celebrating these extraordinary individuals at the 2014 Annual Conference!  We invite you to congratulate the award winners by placing an ad in the conference program and/or sponsoring a table at the awards luncheon.  We also invite individuals and organizations to share your work with participants by exhibiting at the conference. Download Form for Ads, Sponsors, and Exhibitors.

In addition to the annual awards luncheon – which will include a keynote address by Bob Ray Sanders, a longtime columnist with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram – the conference will feature a plenary session on the role that Texas plays in the national movement and ways that TCADP and our key partners are lighting the way toward ending the death penalty as a practice.  Register today! Rates will increase after January 1st!

Coming Soon: Year-End Report: Texas Death Penalty Developments in 2013
What county accounts for the most death sentences over the last six years? Who was removed from death row in 2013? All of your burning questions will be addressed in TCADP’s forthcoming annual report, Texas Death Penalty Developments in 2013: The Year in Review. More details will be sent to you later this month. Previous reports are available online.

Giving Tuesday!
We are grateful for the contributions that so many of you have made already this year and those that provided additional support  on Giving Tuesday so that TCADP can continue to light the way toward abolition. Save a stamp by making an end-of-the-year, tax-deductible donation today! Thank you for your support and generosity.

Take Action: Demand a New Sentencing Hearing for Duane Buck
On November 20, 2013, a divided Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Duane Buck’s appeal for a new, fair sentencing hearing free from racial bias. With this decision, Texas has once again reneged on the clear and unequivocal promise made by former Texas Attorney General John Cornyn that Mr. Buck would not face execution based on a racially biased death sentence. Despite this promise, Mr. Buck is now at grave risk of execution in Texas. Join more than 91,000 supporters who have signed a petition on Change.org calling for a new sentencing hearing for Duane Buck! Follow TCADP on Facebook and Twitter for breaking news and to learn about other opportunities for your involvement in this case.

In the News:  Conservatives vs. the Death Penalty
TCADP Board Member Pat Monks is featured prominently in a new editorial by the Dallas Morning News, “Conservatives vs. the death penalty” (November 29, 2013). The editorial remarks on the emergence of a new national network, Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty, and notes, “the driving principles are capital punishment’s incompatibility with the conservative ideals of restraining government, protecting life and maintaining fiscal responsibility.” Read the full editorial.

Upcoming Events
Austin:  Sister Helen Prejean to speak -December 3
Marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of her most famous work, Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean will speak at Friends Meeting of Austin (Quakers) Meetinghouse, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 at 7 pm.  The Quaker Meetinghouse is at 3701 E. MLK Blvd, Austin.

CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER -Fort Worth: Storytelling Circle with Families of the Executed – December 7
The Texas After Violence Project will host a special event Listening to Families of Executed Texans – a Storytelling Circle in Fort Worth from 4:00 to 7:00pm at the Tarrant County College, Trinity Campus, Trinity Building – Room Connect: TRTR 4102 on the 4th floor. Come explore the living pasts of the death penalty with families of executed Texans from the Fort Worth area and consider how memory may serve as a resource for restoring and reimagining community and building a more just and less violent Texas.
Featuring:

  • Derrek and Keith Brooks, sons of Charlie Brooks, Jr. executed on December 7, 1982
  • Stanley Allridge, brother of Ronald and James Allridge executed on June 8, 1995 and August 26, 2004 respectively
  • Opening remarks by Bob Ray Sanders, columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Circle keeper – Estrus Tucker, TCADP Board Vice-President
  • Select clips from the Texas After Violence Project oral history archive

Hosted by the Texas After Violence Project with support from the Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation.  Co-sponsored by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Texas Observer, Amnesty International, and Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights.

In Memoriam
Burnham Terrell, an active TCADP and Houston Chapter member, reached his 90th birthday on November 12 and the 21st anniversary of his marriage to his wife, Joan on November 13.   He is an inspiration to any of us who might think we are too old to be an activist. Burnham passed away the morning of November 13 while recovering from a stroke that happened earlier in the month. The memorial service for Burnham Terrell will be Saturday, December 14 at 11 am at the Live Oak Friends Meeting House, 1318 W. 26th St., Houston, TX.  Burnham’s faithful work coordinating the Houston area execution vigils for so many years will be sorely missed.

Calendar
December<
3 Scheduled execution of Jerry Martin; Sister Helen in Austin (see above for details); Giving Tuesday
5 TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houle and TCADP Board Member Pat Monks addressing Liberty on the Rocks Houston, 7:30 PM; TCADP Table at Dallas Peace Center Annual Peacemakers Dinner
7 31st Anniversary of the Resumption of Executions in Texas; Fort Worth Storytelling circle (CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER); Dallas Annual Christmas Card Signing for Death Row inmates, 11:00 to 4:00 in the History Department Conference Room, basement of Dallas Hall at SMU
10 International Human Rights Day
31 Last day to support TCADP with your year-end tax-deductible donation!

January
1 Last Day to Secure TCADP Annual Conference Early Bird Registration Rates (rates will increase after this date)       
8 TCADP in Collin County meeting, 7 PM; Sun Creek United Methodist Church collincounty@tcadp.org
20 El Paso Chapter meeting, 7 PM elpaso@tcadp.org
22 Dallas Chapter meeting, 7 PM dallas@tcadp.org

February
1 Last Day to Receive TCADP Annual Conference Advance Registration Rates; Last Day to Book Block Rate Hotel rooms for TCADP Annual Conference

Support all of the programs and initiatives described here with a generous donation to TCADP today!

 

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