Perry's 200th Execution Sparks Worldwide Protest
Dozens of death penalty opponents gathered on the steps of the Texas
Capitol Tuesday evening to protest the 200th execution under Gov. Rick
Perry, which was scheduled for 6 p.m.
Perry's approval of the execution of Terry Lee Hankins marks the highest
number of executions performed by any governor in American history.
Hankins, who shot his wife and child in their sleep, has previously
described himself as a "non-caring monster."
Austin's protest took place in conjunction with similar protests taking
places in the country and around the world, including Houston,
Albuquerque, Liepzig, German and Paris, France.
The Austin protestors, holding signs and placards, crowded the Capitols
entrance along Congress Avenue. A symbolic "burial" took place where 200
candles were placed one by one in a cardboard coffin. The names of each
person executed, and the crime they had committed was announced at the
sound of a bell.
Alexis Konevich, a philosophy senior at St. Edwards University and intern
for the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, said executions were
ethically and morally wrong and do not support her personal moral beliefs.
"By the standards of our Constitution, I believe it is cruel and unusual
punishment," Konevich said.
Scott Cobb, president of the Texas Moratorium Network said the protests,
organized by anti-execution organizations, served to demonstrate that
people are opposed to the use of the death penalty in Texas.
"Texas just executes more people than other states," Cobb said. "When you
travel abroad, and you say you are from Texas, the 1st thing that comes to
mind is executions and maybe cowboys."
Cobb said he would be protesting outside the Huntsville prison where Texas
executes those on death row.
"I think that people will have an effect on public opinion and policy
makers," Cobb said. Kristin Houl, the director for the Texas Coalition to
Abolish the Death Penalty, who was present at the Capitols protest, said
as people become more educated on the topic and understand the complexity
of the practice, support for the death penalty is starting to wane.
"You can't help but feel a sense of sadness for the lose of life on both
sides," Houle said 6 minutes before Terry Hankins was scheduled to die.
(source: University of Texas Daily Texan)