TCADP March 2016 Alert: Get ready to Amplify Austin!

In this edition:

Scheduled executions: State of Texas set to put three people to death this month
TCADP 2016 Annual Conference: Check out photos from the day
New resource: Public Safety Officers on the Death Penalty
Amplify Austin: Set your alarm for March 9th at 1 PM
Featured events: Sister Helen Prejean to appear at three events in the Houston area

Quote of the month
“If it [abolition of the death penalty] can be done in Nebraska, it can be done here.”
– Nebraska Senator Colby Coash, addressing the TCADP 2016 Annual Conference on February 20, 2016 in Houston, Texas

Scheduled executions
The State of Texas is scheduled to execute three people this month:

On March 9, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute Coy Wesbrook for the murders of his ex-wife, Gloria Coons, and Antonio Cruz in 1997 in Channelview (Harris County). In 2012, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a Harris County criminal court to re-evaluate Wesbrook’s intellectual competence to face execution.

The State of Texas is scheduled to execute Adam Ward on March 22 for killing Commerce Code Enforcement Officer Michael “Pee Wee” Walker in 2005 in Hunt County.  Ward was 22 years old at the time of the crime.

On March 30, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute John Battaglia for the 2001 murders of his two daughters, Faith and Liberty, ages 9 and 6, in Dallas County. Battaglia is now 60 years old.

At this time, there are seven additional executions scheduled to take place in Texas through July 2016.

Attend a vigil in your community on the day of executions. Note the new vigil location in Waco. Information and updates on these cases will be available on our website and through Facebook and Twitter.

Supporters gather in Houston for TCADP 2016 Annual Conference
TCADP is grateful to everyone who participated in our 2016 Annual Conference on February 20th in Houston.  It was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces, honor our incredible award recipients, and hear from special guests Nebraska Senator Colby Coash, defense attorney George Parnham, Dr. Stephen Klineberg of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, and many more.  Check out the photo album from the day on the TCADP Facebook page.

New resource: Public Safety Officials on the Death Penalty
The Constitution Project has launched an exciting new initiative – Public Safety Officials on the Death Penalty (PSODP) – a group of current and former law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and corrections officials with concerns about the death penalty.  More information and a list of endorsements is available on their website and in this article from The Crime Report’s Ted Gest. If you know any public safety officers (active or retired) who may want to join this group, please contact TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houle at khoule@tcadp.org.

Amplify Austin
Amplify Austin, a 24-hour online fundraising festival, will take place from 6 PM on March 8th to 6 PM on March 9th.  You can help TCADP win a $1,000 bonus prize for the fourth year in a row by donating between 1:00 and 2:00 PM Central Time on Wednesday, March 9. Check out our profile page, including a testimonial from Texas State Musician Sara Hickman, and set your alarm for Wednesday afternoon. Consider donating at:

1:13 PM for the 13 people exonerated from Texas’ death row
1:20 PM for the 20 jurisdictions (20 states and the District of Columbia) that don’t allow the death penalty
1:40 PM for the 140 countries that have abolished the death penalty in law or practice

Last year, we raised more than $6,000 through this event, including a $1,000 bonus prize for securing the most donors between the 1 and 2 PM giving hour.  This year, we seek to raise $10,000. Let’s Amplify Austin and promote justice!

Featured events
TCADP invites your participation in the following meetings and events:

Austin
From March 31 to April 2, 2016, the ABA Death Penalty Due Process Review Project and the University of Texas School of Law Capital Punishment Center are hosting “40 Years After Gregg: A National Conference on the Death Penalty” in Austin, Texas. For more information, please click here.

Dallas
The John Marshall Pre-Law Society of UTD will host “Selden Hale: Amarillo Death Penalty Defense Attorney on How Texas Made its Own Making a Murderer” on Thursday, March 24, 2016 from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. The event will take place in the Founders Building.

Houston
The University of St. Thomas will host Sister Helen Prejean on Wednesday, March 10, 2016 in the Scanlan Room of the Jerabeck Activity Center (4000 Mt. Vernon; Houston, Texas). This free event will begin at 7:30 PM and is sponsored by the Criminology, Law and Society & UST Social Justice Committee. Please contact Dyla Gutierrez at mdgutier@stthom.edu with any questions.

KingwoodTONIGHT!
The Criminal Justice Department at Lone Star College-Kingwood will host Sister Helen Prejean on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in the Student Conference Center. The event will begin with a showing of the film “Dead Man Walking” at 4:30PM, followed by remarks by Sister Helen at 7:00PM. This free event is a unique opportunity to hear and meet one of the most prominent figures in capital punishment opposition. Click here for more information.

Tomball – TOMORROW!
Sister Helen Prejean will appear at Lone Star College’s Tomball campus (East 100) on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The event will begin with a showing of the film “Dead Man Walking” at 4:30PM, followed by remarks by Sister Helen at 7:00PM. This free event is open to the public. Click here for more information.

Statewide
On Saturday, March 19, 2016, Democrat and Republican County and District Conventions will take place across the State of Texas. We encourage all of our members to engage in politics on the local and state level. Please contact Vanessa at vanessa@tcadp.org if you need talking points or materials on the death penalty to share with other participants.  If you live in the Dallas area and plan to attend your Senate District convention, please contact Jason at Jason@tcadp.org.  Click here for more information about Democratic Conventions and here for Republican Conventions.