We are grateful to everyone who participated in the TCADP 2017 Annual Conference – Moving to Higher Ground – on February 18, 2017 at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin. It was wonderful to see so many new faces as well as as longtime supporters, hear from our compelling speakers, and honor our incredible award recipients. Pictures from the conference are now available on our Facebook page.
Keynote Speaker: Brian Stolarz
Brian Stolarz served as habeas corpus counsel to Alfred Dewayne Brown, who was exonerated in June 2015 after spending 10 years on Texas’ death row. Stolarz received the 2015 Light of Justice Award from the Texas Defender Service for his efforts to secure justice for Mr. Brown, and his work on the case has been profiled in The Washington Post and the Houston Chronicle, and on the Today Show. His book about his relationship with Dewayne, Grace and Justice on Death Row: The Race Against Time and Texas to Free an Innocent Man, is a Washington Post best-seller. Be sure to read Brian’s recent OpEd published in the Houston Chronicle and watch this short film featuring Brian and Dewayne.
Panel Discussion: Covering the Death Penalty
- Pamela Colloff, Texas Monthly
- Joy Diaz, Texas Standard
- Jolie McCollough, Texas Tribune
- Ryan Poppe, Texas Public Radio
2017 Annual Award Winners
TCADP’s Appreciation Award is bestowed upon individuals and organizations who have made significant – often selfless – contributions towards our efforts to end the death penalty in Texas. We are pleased to present our 2017 Appreciation Award to Lindsey Pearlstein, in gratitude for her hundreds of hours of volunteer service with TCADP as a full-time undergraduate student at the University of Texas-Austin.
Lindsey Pearlstein, an Elementary Education major and native of Massachusetts, served as TCADP’s Advocacy Intern in the Fall of 2014 through the Bridging Disciplines Program. She then volunteered in our office on a regular basis the following two semesters, through the end of 2015. We are forever grateful to Lindsey for her contributions to our work and her commitment to social justice, and we can’t wait to see how the next chapter of her life unfolds when she graduates in May 2017.
We are pleased to present our 2017 Courage Award to Alfred Dewayne Brown in recognition of the 10 years he spent as an innocent man on Texas’ death row and his continued pursuit of justice and compensation from the State.
On June 8, 2015, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office dismissed capital murder charges against Brown, who was wrongly convicted of the murders of Houston Police Officer Charles R. Clark and store clerk Alfredia Jones at a check-cashing business in 2003.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Brown’s conviction and death sentence on November 5, 2014, after finding the Harris County District Attorney’s Office withheld material evidence favorable to his case, specifically, a record of a phone call that corroborated his claim that he was at his girlfriend’s apartment the morning the murders took place. In 2013, a homicide detective found a box of phone records in his garage that indicated Brown made the call exactly when he asserted. The file was never shared with Brown’s defense counsel during his original trial.
Brown is the 13th person to be exonerated from death row in Texas. A total of 156 people have been exonerated from death rows nationwide since 1973.
David P. Atwood Founder’s Award
The David P. Atwood Founder’s Award was established by the TCADP Board of Directors in 2010 in honor of Houstonian Dave Atwood, who founded our organization more than 20 years ago. The award honors those who have made a lifelong commitment to justice. We are pleased to present the 2017 Founder’s Award to State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. in honor of his many important contributions to the cause of ending the death penalty, particularly his sponsorship of the first death penalty repeal bill to be introduced in the Texas Senate and his advocacy for alternatives to the ultimate punishment.
A leader on education, healthcare and economic development, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations and a former educator and coach. In the 79th Legislative session, he authored the bill establishing Life Without Parole in Texas, and in the 84th Legislative session, he authored SB 1661, a bill to repeal the death penalty in Texas.
As he prepares for the 85th Legislative Session, Senator Lucio is guided by the values he learned growing up in Brownsville, which were enriched as an educator and cultivated in the corridors of the State Capitol, putting people first and advocating for the hard-working families deep in the heart of Texas.
John Mimbela, Mimbela Contractors Inc.
Lifespark: Movement against the death penalty
For information about past TCADP conferences, please visit the archives page.