TCADP January 2018 Alert: A new year for justice

In this edition:
Scheduled executions: Two executions scheduled for January in Texas
TCADP 2018 Annual Conference: Register today!
In case you missed it: Coverage of the death penalty’s demise in Texas and nationwide
Featured events: Join TCADP members and staff for MLK Day events in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio
Year-end fundraising results: Thank you for your generous gifts!


Quote of the month
“The changing attitudes of prosecutors are influenced by three things – the life without parole option, the immense cost in a time of limited resources, and the human toll of waiting decades for final imposition of that sentence. Those are the reasons for my approach.”

– Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney
Verdict is in: DA helps usher in new era for home of death penalty,” Houston Chronicle, December 20, 2017


Scheduled Executions
The State of Texas is scheduled to execute two individuals this month:

  • On January 18, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute Anthony Shore for multiple murders in Harris County in the 1980s and 1990s. Sentenced in November 2004, Shore is the last white defendant to receive a death sentence in Harris County. In October 2017, he received a 90-day reprieve due to his possible involvement in another case.If it proceeds, Shore’s execution would be the first in Texas this year, and the first in the United States. Harris County accounts for 127 executions since 1982, more than any state except Texas.  For the first time since 1985, Harris County was not responsible for any of last year’s executions.
  • On January 30, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute William Rayford for the 1999 murder of Carol Lynn Thomas Hall in her Dallas home. Dallas County accounts for 56 executions since 1982, second only to Harris County.  >

There are currently three additional executions scheduled to take place in Texas through March.

Attend a vigil in your community on the day of executions. Information and updates on cases are available on our website and through Facebook and Twitter.


TCADP 2018 Annual Conference
The TCADP 2018 Annual Conference – “Transforming the Landscape” – will take place on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas. Take advantage of pre-registration rates until February 8, 2018. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

If you can’t join us for the full day, consider purchasing a ticket for our awards luncheon and keynote address by Reverend Sharon Risher. Rev. Risher was a staff chaplain and trauma specialist with Parkland Hospital in Dallas from 2012-2016. Her mother, two cousins and childhood friend—Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Tywanza Sanders and Myra Thompson, respectively—were killed along with five others at Emanuel AME Church (“Mother Emanuel”) in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. As our keynote speaker, she will address her experiences with the criminal justice system in the wake of these horrific murders and her longstanding opposition to the death penalty.

Learn more about the conference, including details on our panelists, sponsors, and award winners. Register today!


In case you missed it
Ongoing coverage of the death penalty’s demise 
In December, TCADP released its annual report, Texas Death Penalty Developments in 2017: The Year in Review. According to the report, executions and death sentences in Texas remained near record-low levels, even in the counties that have used the death penalty most often.

Our report received coverage from media outlets throughout Texas and nationwide.  Read more about our findings from the Houston ChronicleNBC NewsThe InterceptDallas Morning NewsSan Antonio Express-News, and the Texas Tribune.

For more information on national death penalty developments, read the year-end report from the Death Penalty Information Center. Recent editorials in the New York Times and Washington Post note declining use of the death penalty nationwide.


Featured Events
January 8
: TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houle will discuss recent death penalty developments for the “Weekly Witness” sponsored by Texas Impact.  The presentation will take place in the First United Methodist Church Murchison Chapel in Austin at noon (1201 Lavaca St). You can tune in by webinar at https://zoom.us/j/629905215 or Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/texasimpact/.

January 15: The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Parade will take place in Dallas, starting from Holmes Street and MLK Jr. Boulevard at 10:00 AM. Line-up for parade participants will begin at 8:00 AM. The parade route is about one mile to Fair Park. TCADP supporters who are interested in marching should contact Jim Webner, North Texas Outreach Coordinator, at jwebner@tcadp.org. Those interested in participating in the parade will receive further details via email on January 12th. For more details on Dallas’ MLK, Jr. Day events, visit the Dallas Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center at dallasmlkcenter.com.

January 15: Members of the TCADP San Antonio Chapter will provide an information table following the Martin Luther King, Jr. March. The Commemorative Program will take place at Pittman-Sullivan Park (1101 Iowa Street). For more information, visit the San Antonio MLK Jr. March and Commemorative Program page.

January 15: TCADP members will march in the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Houston. For more information about the parade and celebration, visit http://www.mlkgrandeparade.org/grande_parade.html.

January 18: Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) and TCADP will host theSan Antonio premiere of “The Last 40 Miles” at OLLU’s Chapel Auditorium (411 SW 24th Street) in conjunction with DreamWeek San Antonio 2018. “The Last 40 Miles” is a thought-provoking animated short film that presents a man’s final journey from death row in Livingston to the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas, and his conversation with a compassionate guard along the way.

After the film, we will engage in dialogue with filmmaker and journalist, Alex Hannaford, and TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houlé about the use of the death penalty and the criminal justice system in Texas, and about the power of the arts and storytelling to inspire conversations about important social justice issues.  The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and is free and open to the public. View the event flyer here.

January 18: Friendship-West Baptist Church (2020 W Wheatland Road) in Dallas will host a Dallas County District Attorney Candidate Forum at 6:30 PM in the choir room. Friendship-West, Alpha Phi Alpha, and the NAACP invite all to participate.

January 22: Brazos Bookstore (2421 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77005) in Houston will host Anthony Graves for a reading and signing of Infinite Hope, his new book. Infinite Hope tells Anthony’s personal story about enduring more than a decade on death row as an innocent man. The event will begin at 6:00 PM. For more information, visit http://www.brazosbookstore.com/event/anthony-graves-infinite-hope.

January 23 and 24: Join the TCADP Lobby Corps as we deliver copies of the TCADP year-end report to all 180 legislative offices at the State Capitol in Austin. Email Kristin at khoule@tcadp.org to volunteer.

February 17TCADP 2018 Annual Conference; Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

March 1-2Amplify Austin, an annual day of online giving. Help us win a $1,000 bonus prize for the sixth year in a row!  Contact Vanessa at vanessa@tcadp.org if you are interested in creating an individual fundraising page to support TCADP


Thank you for your generous support
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who donated to our organization in 2017.  To date, we have raised more than $16,000 in response to our year-end appeals. We invite you to take your support to the next level by becoming a TCADP Partner for Justice or Sustaining Member.