Imagine spending 34 years in prison – most of them on death row in Texas – for a crime you didn’t commit. Now imagine being told by doctors that in a matter of months, you will die of liver cancer. That’s the situation facing Max Soffar, who will die behind bars before any court can [...]
TCADP is now recruiting its third class of Lobby Corps members! This dedicated group of people works with our staff and board members to advance our legislative agenda at the State Capitol. Lobby Corps members were active throughout the 2013 Texas Legislative Session, meeting regularly with legislative offices and educating our elected officials about the death [...]
New evidence in the case of Cameron Todd Willingham significantly undermines the credibility of Johnny Webb, the jailhouse informant whose testimony was instrumental in Willingham’s conviction. Willingham was executed in 2004 for the 1991 arson murder of his three daughters in Corsicana, despite compelling evidence of his innocence, including a much-discredited arson investigation. Maurice Possley, writing for The [...]
A new study of 100 people executed in 2012 and 2013 shows that the death penalty system has failed to identify and execute “the worst of the worst.” According to researchers, the overwhelming majority of those executed had deficits of at least one kind, such as intellectual disability, severe mental illness, or severe childhood trauma.
TCADP’s August 2014 Alert provides information on scheduled executions and the ongoing lethal injection debacle. It also takes a closer look at investigations into the cases of Cameron Todd Willingham and Carlos DeLuna, both of which bolster evidence that the State of Texas has executed innocent people.
Today’s execution of Joseph Wood in Arizona took nearly two hours as he repeatedly gasped and snorted, according to witnesses. Some reports say that Wood gasped more than 600 times during the process. In coverage by CNN, a media witness from KSAZ likened Wood’s breathing to a “fish gulping for air” and said it was difficult for everyone in the [...]
On July 21, 2014, eight retired federal and state judges petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to accept an appeal from Rodney Reed, who is scheduled to be executed on January 14, 2015. Among them are Royal Ferguson of Texas, a retired federal judge appointed by President Bill Clinton, and Judge Charles Baird, who served eight years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and four years as a state district judge in Austin.
The Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas has made a “just cause” determination with respect to allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against former Burleson County District Attorney Charles J. Sebesta, Jr. in his prosecution of Anthony Graves in 1994. As a result of Sebesta’s misconduct, Graves spent 18½ years of his life in prison, more than 12½ years of that on death row, for a crime he did not commit and of which he was later completely exonerated by honest prosecutors.