Texas schedules final executions of the year

October 2014

In this edition of our monthly alert:

Scheduled executions
Seeking award nominations
In case you missed it
Upcoming events
Support TCADP today!

Scheduled executions
The State of Texas is scheduled to carry out two executions this month; if they occur, these will be the last executions in our state in 2014:

  • On October 15, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute Larry Hatten for the 1995 shooting death of 5-year-old Isaac Jackson in Corpus Christi. Jackson was killed while in bed with his mother, Tabatha Thompson, who was also severely injured. Hatten reportedly suffers from mental illness and has been forcibly medicated at times while incarcerated.  Earlier this year he decided to forego any further appeals in his case.
  • On October 28, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute Miguel Paredes, who was convicted in San Antonio in 2000 for the murders of Adrian Torres, Nelly Bravo, and Shawn Michael Caine.  He was 18 years old at the time of the crime. After Paredes and his two accomplices shot the three victims, they took their bodies to Frio County, where they set them on fire.  His two co-defendants are serving life sentences. Read an interview with Paredes that appears in The Baptist Standard.

To date in 2014, Texas has executed nine people, out of 30 executions nationwide.  The Texas Department of Criminal Justice still refuses to identify the source of the drug used in executions.

Attend a vigil in your community on the day of executions. Updates on these cases will be posted on our website and through Facebook and Twitter.

Nominate candidates for our annual awards!
TCADP seeks nominations for our annual Courage, Appreciation, and Media Awards. With these awards, we recognize outstanding organizations and individuals who have made significant and selfless contributions towards abolishing the death penalty in Texas.  All award winners will be honored at the TCADP Annual Conference on February 21, 2015 in Austin.  The deadline for submitting nominations has been extended to October 31st.  Submit your nominations today, and check out the theme for our 2015 Annual Conference!

In case you missed it
U.S. Supreme Court must prevent execution of Scott Panetti
Attorneys for Scott Panetti, a man with a long history of severe mental illness who has spent nearly 20 years on death row in Texas, are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider once again whether he is incompetent to be executed.  Legal and mental health experts have weighed in with their analysis of why the Justices must intervene in this appalling case. Read more.

“Serving as a cog in a machine whose ultimate aim is to destroy human life takes a toll…”
In “Inmates Aren’t the Only Victims of the Prison-Industrial Complex,” published last month byThe Nation, journalist Alex Hannaford writes that death row guards are “collateral damage in a system that embodies one of the most devastating uses of state power.”  The article, which features an interview with a former death row guard in Texas, provides important and disturbing insight into the mental and emotional stress endured by corrections officers. Read it now.

Statue in Lubbock honors Tim Cole
A new memorial at the most prominent intersection in Lubbock honors Tim Cole, who tragically died in prison of an asthma attack before DNA evidence proved his innocence.  He was posthumously pardoned by the State of Texas in 2010.  The statue depicts Tim Cole “as a student, carrying books, with his head held high and looking toward the Tech Law School.”  Bob Ray Sanders of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram offers this commentary on the dedication ceremony that took place in September.

Changing hearts and minds in Aggieland 
Jan Brown and Anthony Graves wowed a crowd of more than 120 people, including dozens of Texas A & M students, at a special event hosted by St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station on September 25th.  Both shared their firsthand experiences with the Texas death penalty system: Jan as the mother of Kandy Kirtland, who was kidnapped and murdered in Bryan in 1987 when she was 9 ½ years old; and Anthony as an innocent man who spent 18 years in prison, including 12 years on death row, for a crime he did not commit.  Read this fantastic coverage of the event in The Eagle and check our Facebook page next week for more pictures from the event.  (Photo courtesy of Danny Yeager.)

Upcoming events
Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex:  It’s not too late to attend one of our speaking events this weekwith death row exonoree Juan Melendez and former Montague County District Attorney Tim Cole (pictured together here at our event last night at Holy Covenant United Methodist Church in Carrollton)!  Here are the remaining events on the schedule:
M: Presentation by Juan Melendez and Tim Cole, McFadden Science Lecture Theatre, Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth

Thursday, October 2nd 3:00 to 4:30 PM: Presentation by Juan Melendez at the University of Texas-Dallas. The event will take place in the atrium of the Founders Building. Sponsored by the John Marshall Pre-Law Society at UTD.

Thursday, October 2nd 7:00 to 8:30 PM: Presentation by Juan Melendez at Oak Cliff United Methodist Church, 547 E Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, Texas 75203.

This tour is sponsored by TCADP, with generous support from the Harold Simmons Foundation.  We are immensely grateful to all of our individual event sponsors.  Pictures from other events coming soon!

Also in the Metroplex, TCADP volunteers will assist the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty (CMN) with an information table at the University of Dallas Ministry Conference, taking place in Irving from October 23rd to 25th.  CMN’s Sister Ilaria Buanriposi will provide three workshops on the death penalty and restorative justice during the conference.

HoustonSister Helen Prejean, the author of Dead Man Walking, will speak at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston this Sunday, October 5th at 3:00 PM. The church is located at 12955 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77079. Tickets may be purchased at the door ($10 for adults, $5 for students with ID).  Sister Helen’s books will be available for purchase after her presentation.

Austin: Columbia Law School Professor James S. Liebman will appear at the Texas Book Festival in Austin on Sunday, October 26th at 3:30 PM in the CSPAN location to discuss his book about the wrongful execution of Carlos DeLuna, The Wrong Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution. Mike Farrell will be moderating.  More details coming soon.

National: Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation will hold its 2014 Member Meeting in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Saturday, October 25th.  This meeting will provide opportunities to learn from leaders in the anti-death penalty movement and leaders who work with victims/survivors. More information is available here.

Support our work to end the death penalty
TCADP depends on your generosity to support all of the events and programs described above. Your gift of $50 or $100 will go a long way toward defraying the costs of the 15 events we’ve organized in the last 8 days. Donate now.

Consider becoming a Partner for Justice with a recurring monthly donation.

Thank you for supporting our mission to end the death penalty in Texas!