Archive | death penalty

01 June 2015 ~ Comments Off on TCADP June 2015 Alert: Nebraska repeals the death penalty; implications for other states

TCADP June 2015 Alert: Nebraska repeals the death penalty; implications for other states

In this edition:

Scheduled executions: Only Texas and Missouri carrying out executions this summer

Advocacy at the 84th Texas Legislature: Session officially concludes at midnight tonight

In the news: Nebraska abolishes the death penalty!

In case you missed it: The demise of the death penalty… “even in Texas”

Upcoming events: Attend these gatherings in Austin, El Paso and Houston

Seeking Organizational Affiliates: Are you part of a group or organization that supports our mission to end the death penalty in Texas?

Scheduled Executions
The State of Texas is scheduled to put two people to death this month:

  • After 31 years on death row, Lester Bower Jr. is scheduled to be executed on June 3, 2015. He was convicted of the shooting deaths of four men – Jerry Brown, Bob Tate, Philip Good and Ronald Mayes – at an ultra-light airplane hangar near Sherman in 1983.  In February, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed Bower’s execution but later declined to consider his appeal.Sentenced to death in Grayson County in 1984, Bower, now 67, is one of the state’s longest serving death row inmates.  If his execution proceeds, he will be the oldest man put to death in Texas. Bower, a former chemical salesman with no prior criminal history, has consistently maintained his innocence.  Read more in his recent interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • Gregory Russeau is scheduled to be put to death on June 18, 2015. He was convicted of robbing and fatally beating 75-year-old James Syvertson at his Tyler auto-repair shop in 2001.

Texas accounts for 7 of the 14 executions nationwide to date in 2015.  At this time, Missouri is the only other state scheduled to carry out executions; it accounts for three excutions this year.

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

Legislative Advocacy
TCADP would like to thank all of our supporters – particularly our dedicated Lobby Corps members – for your advocacy efforts during the 84th Texas Legislature, which will officially conclude tonight at midnight.  While legislation to repeal the death penalty did not advance this year, lawmakers passed several important criminal justice reform bills, including establishing an innocence commission to examine cases of wrongful convictions in Texas, increasing access to post-conviction DNA testing, and overhauling the grand jury system, among others.

Regrettably, legislators also passed a bill that will keep secret the identity of any entity providing the drugs used in Texas executions.  The bill has been signed by Governor Greg Abbott and will go into effect on September 1, 2015.

Read more about our efforts this session.

In the News
Nebraska repeals the death penalty
Last week, Nebraska became the 19th U.S. state to abandon the death penalty.  Legislators successfully overrode Governor Pete Rickett’s veto of LB 268, a bill that replaces the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole. Nebraska is the first conservative state to abolish the death penalty in more than 40 years.

TCADP congratulates our good friends at Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, especially Executive Director Stacy Anderson, our colleagues at Equal Justice USA, Senator Ernie Chambers, who sponsored this legislation for the last 40 years, and everyone who worked so hard on this campaign.

Read this editorial from the Dallas Morning News“Red, red Nebraska moves to abolish the death penalty,” regarding the significance of this vote and the critical role conservatives played.  Also worth a read:

The American Spectator: “Nebraska Repeals the Death Penalty”

Omaha World-Herald: “One Nebraska state senator’s long, hard journey from death penalty backer to execution opponent”

The Atlantic: “How Nebraska Banned the Death Penalty”

Other statements against the death penalty
The 2015 Annual Conference of the Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, which met last week in Houston, passed a resolution that calls upon all local churches, clergy members and lay members of the Annual Conference to work toward repeal of the death penalty in Texas.  Read the full text of the resolution and watch a short video by TCADP Board Member Rev. Susan Buchanan, who introduced the resolution.  Congratulations and thank you, Susan!

The Freedom From Religion Foundation also weighed in recently on the death penalty.  Read this statement by Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

In case you missed it
A number of recent articles and opinion pieces have noted declining use of the death penalty in Texas, particularly the reduction in new death sentences.  Here are some of our favorites:

Columnist Steve Blow: “Even in tough-on-crime Texas, death penalty convictions decline” (May 8, 2015, Dallas Morning News)

Professor Austin Sarat: “Are we witnessing the demise of the death penalty?” (May 15, 2015, Dallas Morning News)

Editor-at-large David Von Drehle: “The Death of the Death Penalty” (June 2015, TIME Magazine)

Follow TCADP on social media for links to other important news items and opinion pieces.

Upcoming Events
Austin: TCADP will host its bi-monthly luncheon on Tuesday, June 16th with special guest, journalist Jordan Smith. The gathering will start at noon at The Clay Pit (1601 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701). Street parking is available on 15th, 16th & 17th Streets. Please RSVP with an email to vanessa@tcadp.org.

Jordan Smith is a state and national award-winning investigative journalist. She covered criminal justice issues and reproductive health for The Austin Chronicle for more than 13 years. During her time with the Chronicle, Jordan developed a reputation as a resourceful and dogged reporter with a talent for analyzing complex social and legal issues, and is regarded as one of the best investigative reporters in Texas. Her work has also appeared in The NationThe Crime Report, and Salon, among other places.  She now reports for The Intercept.

Read Jordan’s recent article, “Why Is It So Easy for States to Execute the Mentally Ill?”

Houston: TCADP’s Houston Chapter will sponsor an information table at the Houston Pride Festival on Saturday, June 27th from 12 to 7 PM. Contact Nancy Bailey at houston@tcadp.org to volunteer.

El Paso: El Pasoans Against the Death Penalty, a chapter of TCADP, meet on the last Tuesday of the month.  The next meeting will take place at 7 PM on June 30th at St. Pius X Church in the Pedro Maldonado Room (1050 North Clark Drive). For more information, please contact Pat Delgado at phdelgado@hotmail.com.

Seeking Organizational Affiliates
A list of TCADP’s Organizational Affiliates is now available online. Currently, 20 organizations statewide, including faith communities and civic organizations, have pledged to publicly support our efforts to end the death penalty and invite their members to become involved.  Are you part of a group that should be on this list?  Download and mail in this form.

Thank you for supporting our efforts!

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04 May 2015 ~ Comments Off on TCADP May 2015 Alert: “The death penalty has worn out its welcome.”

TCADP May 2015 Alert: “The death penalty has worn out its welcome.”

In this edition:
-Scheduled executions: Six executions; six stays to date in 2015
-Advocacy at the 84th Texas Legislature: House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee considers testimony on abolition bill
-In the news: A District Attorney’s rationale for not seeking the death penalty plus “87 Reasons To Rethink the Death Penalty”
-In case you missed it: Recent articles from the Huffington Post on Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty and the toll the death penalty takes on those involved in executions; TCADP’s Spring 2015 newsletter
-Upcoming events: Calling all members in Houston and El Paso!

Scheduled executions
The State of Texas is scheduled to carry out one execution this month:

• Derrick Charles is scheduled to be put to death on May 12, 2015. He was convicted of killing his 15-year-old girlfriend, Myiesha Bennett, her mother Brenda Bennett, and her grandfather, Obie Lee Bennett in 2002 in Harris County. Charles was 19 years old at the time.

The State of Texas has carried out six executions to date in 2015. Two individuals scheduled to be executed last month – Robert Pruett and Richard Vasquez – received stays of execution. Six people have received stays of execution this year, although the stay granted to Lester Bower by the U.S. Supreme Court has been lifted and his execution has been rescheduled for June 3, 2015. At this time, no executions have been scheduled past June 18, 2015.

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

Advocacy at the 84th Texas Legislature
“The death penalty has worn out its welcome.” That’s the message Anthony Graves delivered to members of the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence during his testimony last week in support of House Bill 1527. The hearing on HB 1527 – State Representative Jessica Farrar’s abolition bill – took place on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Anthony went on to tell the committee the death penalty does not work and what happened to him and his family should concern all of us.

The committee also heard powerful testimony from these individuals and organizational representatives:

• Grant Jones, who served as the District Attorney for Nueces, Kleberg and Kenedy Counties from 1983 to 1991
• Bishop Joe A. Wilson, who served as Bishop of the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, headquartered in Fort Worth, from 1992 to 2000, and as Bishop-in-Residence at Southwestern University in Georgetown from 2001 to 2013
• TCADP Board Member Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood
• TCADP Lobby Corps member Rev. John Yeaman and TCADP member Alison Dieter
• Patrick Ryan, Communications Director for the Texas Catholic Conference
• Joshua Houston, General Counsel/Director of Government Affairs for Texas Impact
• TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houlé

We are grateful to Rep. Farrar and her wonderful staff for their hard work on last week’s hearing. We also extend our gratitude to all of our witnesses, to the two-dozen individuals who registered in favor of the bill, to the TCADP Board Members and Lobby Corps members who attended the hearing, and to everyone who contacted members of the House Criminal Jurisprudence to express their support for ending the death penalty in Texas.

HB 1527 was left pending. You can watch a recording of the committee hearing online at http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/committee-broadcasts/84/. Scroll down until you find the listing for the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on April 29th. Testimony on HB 1527 began around 5:30 PM that day.

In the news
“In his own words: DA Alan Nash talks about the decision to not seek death for Eddie Routh”
Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash recently provided his reasons for seeking life without parole rather than the death penalty for Eddie Routh. In February, a jury convicted Routh of the murders of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.

Simply put, Nash did not seek the death penalty because, [he did] “not believe the higher courts will ever allow Routh to actually be executed.” Due to Routh’s mental illness and military service, Nash felt a death sentence would only be “symbolic.” He cites time as another reason: “trial in a death penalty case would have taken at least eight, likely up to 12 weeks…non-death trial—[takes] two and a half weeks.”

Nash also brings up the costs to counties during and after death penalty trials: “if a jury imposed the death penalty—the appeal process takes an average of 10 to 15 years [and] the county must foot most of the [defendant’s] attorney, psychiatrist, and other bills.” To read the piece in its entirety in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune, please visit http://bit.ly/1GUQQtA.

“87 Reasons To Rethink the Death Penalty” & “Put Yourself in the Jury Box”
On May 4, Stephanie Mencimer, writer for Mother Jones, published two companion articles highlighting information from “The Failure of Mitigation,” a study published in the Hastings Law Journal last year. Mencimer’s articles and “The Failure of Mitigation” focus on 100 recent executions and the requirement of extreme culpability. When looking at the histories, Mencimer points out, “the files are full of stories about men who were fed alcohol as toddlers, beaten brutally as children, shot at by stepfathers, abandoned by psychotic or drug-addicted parents, sexually abused… details of these cases make for painful reading, but they go a long way toward helping explain what makes someone a killer.” For the full articles, please visit http://bitly.com/1E8TSGc and http://bit.ly/1FKTymx.

In case you missed it
“America’s death row population is shrinking”
Recently the Pew Research Center released information showing positive trends for the abolition movement. Death row populations continue to drop and death sentences are decreasing nationwide.

“This Is What It Feels Like To Spend Your Life Working On Death Row”
TCADP Advisory Board Member, Rev. Carroll “Bud” Pickett, was featured in a Huffington Post article profiling four people involved in the death penalty system. Rev. Pickett explains the toll the process takes on all involved: “standing by the gurney almost 100 times, and watching innocent men killed, watching repentant men killed, and seeing the pain among families and men and my employee friends, cannot leave my memories.”

“More Conservatives Are Coming Out Against The Death Penalty”
Another recent Huffington Post article highlights the views and efforts of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty (CCADP). Marc Hyden, Coordinator for CCADP, says he often hears a similar confession from fellow conservatives: “I’ve been against the death penalty for 30 years…I just never told anyone.”

Seizing the Momentum: TCADP’s Spring 2015 Newsletter now available online
The Spring 2015 issue of our quarterly newsletter, Seizing the Momentum, is now available online. In this issue, you’ll learn about TCADP’s Faith Leader Advocacy Day and release of the Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty. You can also read two participants’ experiences on lobby day, meet our new board members, and find out more about our Lobby Corps members.

Upcoming Events
*Tomorrow* TCADP’s Houston Chapter will meet on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 7 PM at Central Market (3815 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77027). TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houlé will give an update on the current legislative session and discuss TCADP’s future plans. The chapter meets every other month on the 1st Tuesday of the month, starting in January.

El Pasoans Against the Death Penalty, a chapter of TCADP, meet on the last Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will take place at 7 PM on May 26, 2015 at St. Pius X Church in the Pedro Maldonado Room (1050 North Clark Drive). For more information, please contact Pat Delgado at phdelgado@hotmail.com.

Thank you for supporting TCADP!

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22 April 2015 ~ Comments Off on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stays execution of Richard Vasquez

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stays execution of Richard Vasquez

On April 21, 2015 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Richard Vasquez, scheduled to take place April 23rd. In their appeal to the court, Vasquez’s attorneys contended new research on shaken baby syndrome and head injuries debunks testimony from prosecution experts at his 1999 trial. Vasquez was originally scheduled for execution on January 15, 2015, but the execution was rescheduled because the Governor was out of the state.

Read more about the ruling from the Houston Chronicle.
Read more about Richard Vasquez’s case from the Austin Chronicle.

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16 April 2015 ~ Comments Off on State of Texas executes Manuel Garza Jr.

State of Texas executes Manuel Garza Jr.

The State of Texas carried out its sixth execution of the year on April 15, 2015. Manuel Garza Jr., 34, was put to death for the 2001 murder of 37-year-old San Antonio SWAT Officer John “Rocky” Riojas.

Garza is among the 42 individuals convicted in Bexar County who have been executed.  This puts the county, which includes San Antonio, only behind Harris and Dallas Counties when it comes to executions in Texas.  No one has been sentenced to death by a Bexar County jury since 2009.

Read more about his case from the Huffington Post and The Guardian.

We appreciate everyone who participated in vigils last night.

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13 April 2015 ~ Comments Off on State of Texas executes Kent Sprouse

State of Texas executes Kent Sprouse

The State of Texas carried out its fifth execution of the year on April 9, 2015. Kent Sprouse, 42, was put to death for the 2002 murders of a 28-year-old Texas cop and a 38-year-old gas station customer.  Sprouse is one of only two executions from Ellis county. Read more about Sprouse from the Huffington Post.

We appreciate everyone who participated in vigils.

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23 March 2015 ~ Comments Off on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Stays Execution of Randall Mays

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Stays Execution of Randall Mays

One week ago the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Randall Mays, scheduled to take place on March 18th. The court agreed with Mays’ lawyers that additional review is needed to determine if Mays is mentally competent for execution.
Texas’ highest court will now give the case a deeper look before issuing an opinion or further order.

Read more about the ruling from the Austin Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman.

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09 March 2015 ~ Comments Off on More than 550 Texas Faith Leaders Call for Abolition of the Death Penalty

More than 550 Texas Faith Leaders Call for Abolition of the Death Penalty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 9, 2015

CONTACT: Kristin Houlé, Executive Director, Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP)
512-441-1808 (office); 512-552-5948 (cell); khoule@tcadp.org

More than 550 Texas Faith Leaders Call for Abolition of the Death Penalty
Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty endorsed by leaders from 25 different faith traditions statewide

 Austin, Texas – Today at the State Capitol, representatives of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) and Texas Impact gathered with faith leaders from across the state to release an Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty and Texas Rabbis’ and Cantors’ Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty.

More than 550 religious and spiritual leaders statewide have endorsed the Interfaith Statement; among them, the signatories represent 25 different faith traditions, including Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reform Judaism, and United Church of Christ. More than 20 Jewish leaders in Texas endorsed the accompanying Rabbis’ Statement.

Affirming the sanctity of human life and human capacity for redemption, the statements reflect both moral and practical concerns about the death penalty rooted in diverse religious traditions. The endorsing faith leaders call on Governor Abbott, members of the 84th Texas Legislature, and other elected officials to take a closer look at the reality of capital punishment in Texas and seek alternative ways to achieve healing and justice for all those who suffer in the wake of violent crimes. They declare “We should do all we can to make sure our state’s resources are directed towards the improvement of life, not its destruction.”

The signatories on the Interfaith Statement include all active and retired Bishops of The United Methodist Church in Texas and 265 United Methodist ministers from across the state. The United Methodist Church first adopted a statement opposing the death penalty in 1956.

“According to our Social Principles, the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore, and transform all human beings,” said Bishop Joe A. Wilson, who served as Bishop of the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, headquartered in Fort Worth, from 1992 to 2000, and as Bishop-in-Residence at Southwestern University in Georgetown from 2001 to 2013.  “The Church cannot accept retribution or social vengeance as a reason for taking human life.”

These statements come at a time of declining use of the death penalty both nationally and in Texas. New death sentences have dropped 80% in Texas over the last 15 years and remain isolated to just a few jurisdictions statewide. Last year the state carried out its fewest executions in nearly two decades. To date this year, three individuals have been put to death and three have received stays of execution.

Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood of Denton, who last year conducted a 200-mile pilgrimage from death row in Livingston to the State Capitol in Austin, said “It is my hope this Interfaith Statement will ignite the moral imagination of all people of faith in Texas so that we might rise up together with one courageous voice and declare the death penalty to be no more.”

Rabbi Susan Lippe of Austin said, “As Jewish leaders, we have grave concerns about the racist and arbitrary application of the death penalty and the possibility of executing an innocent person. With these statements, we declare no more executions in our name.”

The release of the Interfaith Statement occurred in conjunction with the first-ever Texas Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty. Participants are meeting today with legislators to deliver copies of the statement and voice their support for House Bill 1527, sponsored by State Representative Jessica Farrar (District 148 -Houston), which would repeal the death penalty in Texas. Faith leaders will urge the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee to hold a hearing on the bill.  State Rep. Jessica Farrar filed HB 1527 on February 17, 2015; she has sponsored similar legislation in every session since 2007.

“Texas Impact is proud to stand in partnership with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty to heighten the visibility of faith-based opposition to the death penalty and persuade more elected officials and the public at large to embrace alternatives to its use,” said Rev. Tom Heger, a retired Presbyterian pastor from San Antonio and Texas Impact Board Member. “As the state’s oldest and largest statewide interfaith network, we believe faith communities play a critical role in public discussions about the future of capital punishment in our state.”

The text of the Interfaith Statement and full list of signatories, organized by region, is available at http://tcadp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Interfaith-Statement-of-Opposition-to-the-Death-Penalty-FINAL.pdf.

The text of the Rabbis’ and Cantors’ Statement is available at http://tcadp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Rabbi-Statement-of-Opposition-to-the-Death-Penalty-FINAL.pdf

For more information, please contact TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houlé at khoule@tcadp.org, 512-441-1808 (office), or 512-552-5948 (cell).
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02 March 2015 ~ Comments Off on TCADP March 2015 Alert: Join us at the State Capitol on Monday, March 9th

TCADP March 2015 Alert: Join us at the State Capitol on Monday, March 9th

In this edition:

– Scheduled executions
– Death penalty case developments
– Faith leader advocacy at the 84th Texas Legislature
– Amplify Austin
– Recap of TCADP 2015 Annual Conference
– Upcoming events

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

  • On March 11, Manuel Vasquez is scheduled to be put to death for the 1998 murder of 51-year-old Juanita Ybarra in San Antonio. His execution initially was set for August 6, 2014, but the state agreed to a stay.
  • The State of Texas is scheduled to put Randall Mays to death on March 18.  He was convicted of the fatal shootings of Sheriff’s Deputies Paul Habelt and Tony Ogburn outside his home in Henderson County in May 2007.

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

Death penalty case developments
Here are updates on several cases involving Texas death row inmates:

  • On February 23, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Rodney Reed a stay of execution to consider new evidence that supports his innocence in the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites.  Six judges agreed to the stay, which is “pending further order of this court.”  Read more.

    When asked about the court’s decision, Governor Greg Abbott reiterated his support for what he calls “an effective death penalty in Texas.” He went on to say, “I think that this is a healthy process that the court announced what it did so we can put beyond the shadow of any doubt whatsoever that he really is guilty of the crime for which he was convicted.” Read more from KEYE-TV.

  • On February 25, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a rare hearing to Linda Carty to review claims of prosecutorial misconduct in her case. Carty, a British citizen and native of the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, was sentenced to death for plotting the 2001 murder of her neighbor, Joana Rodriguez, in order to steal Rodriguez’s newborn baby.  According to the Houston Chronicle, “a DEA agent and two of Carty’s co-defendants allege that Harris County prosecutors crossed ethical boundaries and threatened them to ensure Carty’s conviction.”
  • Antonio Williams, who was sentenced to death in 2007 for the murders of Vincent Williams and Yolanda Styles, was found dead in his cell in the Harris County Jail on February 19.  He was back in Houston to attend hearings for his appeals. Last November, two witnesses recanted their testimony naming Williams as the shooter; the two women said they were pressured by prosecutors and investigators to lie. Williams’ death was ruled a suicide.

Faith Leader Advocacy Day and Press Conference
TCADP’s first-ever “Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty” will take place on Monday, March 9 at the State Capitol, in partnership with Texas Impact, the oldest and largest statewide interfaith network in Texas. TCADP and Texas Impact will hold a press conference at 11:15 AM on the South Steps of the Capitol to release an Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty, which has been endorsed by nearly 600 faith leaders across Texas. Participants will also meet with legislators to voice their support for House Bill 1527, which calls for abolition of the death penalty in Texas.  State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) filed HB 1527 on February 17.

Learn more about the advocacy day and RSVP here.

We invite all TCADP supporters to participate in the press conference that morning.  Other opportunities for constituent advocacy at the 84th Texas Legislature will be announced soon as we push for a House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee hearing on HB 1527.

Amplify Austin: Help TCADP three-peat! 
Amplify Austin, a 24-hour online fundraising festival, will take place from 6 PM on March 5th to 6 PM on March 6th.  You can help us win a $1,000 bonus prize for the third year in a row by donating between 1:00 and 2:00 PM Central Time on Friday, March 6. You might consider donating at:

1:12 PM for the 12 people exonerated from Texas death row
1:19 PM for the 19 jurisdictions (18 states and the District of Columbia) that don’t allow the death penalty
1:20 PM for the 120 supporters who attended the TCADP 2015 Annual Conference
1:39 PM for the 139 countries that have abolished the death penalty in law or practice
1:50 PM for the 150 death row exonerations nationwide

Check out TCADP’s profile page and set your alarm for Friday afternoon.  Last year, we raised more than $4,000 through this event!  (Can’t contribute on Friday?  Donations anytime during the 24-hour giving period are welcome and appreciated.)

Advocates gather in Austin for TCADP 2015 Annual Conference
TCADP is grateful to everyone who participated in our 2015 Annual Conference on February 21st in Austin!  It was wonderful to see so many new faces and longtime supporters, hear our inspiring speakers, and honor our incredible award recipients. We are excited to continue our work together to draw attention to death penalty fault lines. Photos from the day will be available soon on TCADP’s Facebook page.

Upcoming events

  • TCADP’s Houston Chapter will meet on Tuesday, March 3 at 7 PM at Central Market (3815 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77027).  Dr. Betty Gilmore, Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management at Southern Methodist University, will speak about the book that she and former death row prisoner, Nanon Williams, co-authored. The Darkest Hour: Shedding Light on the Impact of Isolation and Death Row in Texas Prisonsaddresses the widespread impact of extreme isolation experienced by thousands of incarcerated individuals in Texas prisons.
  • Dr. Sanaz Alasti, Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Program at Lamar University in Beaumont, will deliver the talk “The Future of the Death Penalty” on Monday, March 9 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM as part of the Phi Beta Delta – Beta Xi Colloquy.  The event will take place in the Landes Auditorium at the Galloway Business Building.
  • “A Faith Leader Conversation About the Death Penalty” with Rev. William Lawson, Pastor Emeritus of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, will take place on Tuesday, March 17 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church (Jones Building, Room J-204, 5501 Main Street; Houston, TX 77004).  This free event, the first in a series of conversations for faith leaders about their understanding of and response to capital punishment in Texas, is sponsored by TCADP’s Houston Chapter; brunch will be provided by the Houston Mennonite Church. Register here.
  • El Pasoans Against the Death Penalty meet on the last Tuesday of the month.  The next meeting will take place on March 31 at 7:00 PM at St. Pius X Church in the Pedro Maldonado Room (1050 North Clark Drive).

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