June Alert: Executions, News and Events

In this alert:
Scheduled Executions
News and Events
Calendar

Scheduled Executions

Four individuals are scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas this month:
 
June 1: Gayland Bradford
June 15: John Balentine
June 16: Lee Taylor
June 21: Milton Mathis

Read more about these cases and attend a vigil in your area.   Please check tcadp.org for updates.

News and Events

Texas 82nd Regular Legislative Session Ends with Mixed Results
Thank you for contacting your State Representatives and Senators during the 82nd Texas Regular Legislative Session, which concluded on May 30, 2011 (a special session has been called to address several key pieces of legislation, though none related to criminal justice).  This year, TCADP members generated an unprecedented number of calls and emails to legislators to express their opposition to the death penalty. Your grassroots advocacy plays a critical role in our efforts to shift the political climate on this issue!

On the positive side, the legislature passed several important criminal justice reform measures and improved the process for individuals who have been wrongfully convicted to obtain compensation. On the disappointing side, Senate Bill 377, which expands the scope of the death penalty, passed on one of the last days of the session. Read more about legislative progress and missteps regarding the administration of justice in Texas
 
Join TCADP at a Sine Die Party, Thursday, June 2 – 5:00-8:00pm, Scholz Garden, Austin

Bexar County Death Penalty Activist Training

We have a great opportunity coming up!  Natasha Minsker from the Northern California ACLU, who runs their county level organizing campaigns, has agreed to come to Texas to co-facilitate a community activist training for the Bexar County Campaign.

WHEN: Saturday, June 11th from 10am-2pm (FREE LUNCH!)
WHERE: San Antonio (location to be announced)
WHO: This training is open to everyone, whether you are a seasoned death penalty activist or new to the movement.
WHY: Bexar County has the third highest death sentencing rate in all of Texas. We believe this doesn’t reflect our values as a community, and it is bad public policy wasting tax payer dollars. Come learn about TCADP’s Bexar County Campaign and learn how you can get involved!
WHAT: Strategy session, guest speaker and workshops on messaging, outreach, and more!
 
EL Paso Chapter Summer Film Festival
EPADP will show a series of death penalty-themed movies for our monthly meetings in June, July and August. This will be a great time to come and watch a film with family and friends in air conditioning, and have some popcorn too! The schedule of films to be shown is below. Location for the films is the Juan Diego Room in the Ministry Center of St Pius X Catholic Church, 1050 N Clark St. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and films start at 6:10 p.m.  Events will last no later than 7:45 p.m.
  • Monday, June 20th – Juan Melendez: 6446, a documentary about Juan’s wrongful conviction and 17+ years on death row. It will be followed by a question and answer session with Juan Melendez himself!
  • Monday, July 18th – At the Death House Door, a documentary that looks at the death penalty in the state of Texas through the eyes of Reverend Carroll Pickett. He served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous “Walls” prison unit in Huntsville. Eventually, he became opposed to the death penalty, which started with the troubling case of Carlos De Luna, a man Reverend Pickett thought was innocent.
  • Monday, August 15th – Inside Death Row, a National Geographic documentary about life on death row from the perspectives of the death row inmates, prison staff, families, last meal chef, attorneys and others.
Also, we hope to show a documentary at a large venue in El Paso sometime this summer. Our goal is to share our death penalty repeal message with a wider audience, and hopefully recruit more new members. We’ll let you know if we are able to make that happen. Stay tuned because we will need volunteers to assist with this event.  Contact Karen at elpaso@tcadp.org for more information.

Seeking Religious Voices on the Death Penalty in Texas

TCADP’s interfaith clergy sign-on letter is now available to be completed online. The page includes an online form and a link to the print document – https://tcadp.org/interfaith-sign-on-letter/

To actively support TCADP’s Religious Outreach efforts, please be in touch with Vicki at info@tcadp.org.
 
Violent Crime Rate Drops Nationwide
 
According to new data from the FBI (and reported in the New York Times), “the number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest rate in nearly 40 years, a development that was considered puzzling partly because it ran counter to the prevailing expectation that crime would increase during a recession” (“Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts,” May 24, 2011) Read more from the Times.
 
Hot Fun in the Summer Time
 
TCADP is seeking opportunities to have information tables at summer events to further our goal of educating the public on the death penalty and recruiting new members. If you know of a festival, street fair, civic event or similar happening, please contact Vicki at info@tcadp.org or 512-441-1808.

TCADP is on Facebook

“Like TCADP” on Facebook today and receive daily status updates on breaking news and events.  It is an easy way to stay in touch and up to date on what is happening across the state.

Share it with your friends to help grow our movement!

Calendar

June
1 Scheduled Execution – Gayland Bradford
2 Progressive Sine Die Party 5:00-8:00pm, Scholz Garden, Austin
4 EPADP – El Paso Chapter participates in NAMI Walk
9-10 Southwest Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Corpus Christi*
11 PrideFest San Antonio*
11 Death Penalty Activist Trainining – San Antonio
15 Scheduled Execution – John Balentine
16 Scheduled Execution – Lee Taylor
16-18 Rio Grande Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, San Antonio*
20 El Paso Film Showing – Juan Melendez: 6446
21 Scheduled Execution – Milton Mathis
25 Houston Pride Festival*
28-July 2: Starvin’ for Justice, the annual Fast and Vigil to Abolition the Death Penalty at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC. See http://www.abolition.org/fastandvigil/index.html for details
 
To see the TCADP calendar, go to https://tcadp.org/get-involved/calendar/.

*Please contact info@tcadp.org if you would like to help with these tabling opportunities.