September Alert: Executions and Local Special Events

In This Edition:
Scheduled Executions
Upcoming Events
Resources and Announcements
In the News
Calendar
 

Scheduled Executions

September 13: Steven Woods
September 15: Duane Buck
September 20: Cleve Foster
September 21: Lawrence Brewer 

Duane Buck
Duane Buck is scheduled to be executed on September 15, 2011 for the 1995 murders of his ex-girlfriend, Debra Gardner, and Kenneth Butler.  During his trial, psychologist Walter Quijano, a witness for the defense, testified on cross-examination that the fact that Mr. Buck was African-American increased the likelihood of his being dangerous in the future.  This improperly elicited, racially-based testimony by Dr. Quijano led to new sentencing hearings in six other cases where the State of Texas conceded error – but not for Duane Buck.  His attorneys have filed a clemency petition with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and also are asking the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to withdraw the date.  Read more and sign the online petition.

Join TCADP members around the state in expressing concern about these executions. https://tcadp.org/get-involved/stop-executions/ 

Upcoming Events
 
Two Weeks from Today! Seizing the Momentum: Honoring Houston’s Champions of Justice
Please join TCADP on Thursday, September 15, 2011 from 7 to 9 PM at the Station Museum in Houston for a reception honoring three extraordinary “Champions of Justice”: State Representative Jessica Farrar; Professor Nicole Casarez; and Professor David Dow. Tickets for the event are $50 and benefit TCADP’s ongoing outreach and educational activities. Fusion Taco will cater the reception; music, art, and cold beverages also will be provided. Learn more and buy your ticket today!
 
Can’t make it to Houston? Please consider a special donation to TCADP in honor of our Champions!
 
National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims
Sunday, September 25th, is the National Day of Remembrance (DOR) for Murder Victims – a day to honor and memorialize the lives of loved ones taken by murder/homicide.  If you are interested in learning about events in your area, please contact Chris Castillo with Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation at ccastillo@mvfr.org or 409-201-7106.
 
“Incendiary: the Willingham Case” Coming to a Theatre Near You!
Described as “equal parts murder mystery, forensic investigation and political drama,” the new documentary film “Incendiary” focuses on the case of Cameron Todd Willingham and its implications for the Texas Forensic Science Commission. It will debut in Austin at the Violet Crown Cinema on Friday, September 23, and plans are underway for screenings in Dallas and Houston. Stay tuned for details on additional venues and a special TCADP reception with the filmmakers in Austin later this month.
 
Religious Leaders Dialogue on the Death Penalty- San Antonio
Save the Date – October 24, 2011 7:00-9:00pm Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University and RSVP!
An unprecedented panel of San Antonio-area religious leaders are devoting the evening of October 24 to talk about their views on the death penalty.  TCADP is bringing this important conversation center stage. Learn who is coming and plan to join us!  If you would like to assist in promoting this opportunity in your congregation, community or civic group, please contact info@tcadp.org or (512) 441-1808.  Thank you!
 
 
Resources & Announcements
 
New Materials for Respect Life Month
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has created several new resources for its 2011-2012 Respect Life Program, including a new pamphlet and bulletin inserts on the death penalty in English and Spanish. According to the USCCB, “the Respect Life Program begins anew each year on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October. The program is highlighted in liturgies and marked by special events.”   Please contact TCADP Program Coordinator Vicki McCuistion at info@tcadp.org to order pamphlets to share with your pastor or to integrate into an event on the death penalty at your parish.
 
Award Solicitations
The TCADP Board of Directors is seeking nominations from TCADP members for the annual courage, appreciation, and media awards, which will be presented at the 2012 Annual Conference on February 18, 2012 in San Antonio.  Please nominate worthy individuals and organizations that have made significant and selfless contributions to abolishing the death penalty in Texas. Nominations will be accepted from now until October 15, 2011.
 
In the News
 
Hidalgo County Jury Rejects Death Penalty
On August 26, 2011, a jury in Hidalgo County rejected the death penalty for Roberto Rojas, who was convicted of killing his mother-in-law, Amelia Rivera Flores, and three young children in 2008. The youngest child, 2-year-old Osiel, was Rojas’ son and Silvestre and Mauro Garza, ages 6 and 8, were his stepsons. He also brutally attacked his ex-wife, Amelia Flores, who was saved through the intervention of her father. According to The Monitor, at least 10 jurors agreed that there were mitigating factors that would warrant life in prison rather than the death penalty. Read more.
 
John W. Whitehead: The Death Penalty Is a Miscarriage of Justice
“There is nothing moral or just about the death penalty–certainly not the way it is implemented in America, and anyone who says otherwise is either deluding themselves or trying to get elected by appearing tough on crime.” That’s the first line of a recent column by John W. Whitehead, the founder and president of The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Whitehead goes on to address the myriad flaws and failures of the death penalty system and call for its abolition. Read it here.
 
Calendar
 
September
 
1 TCADP Table at SMU Human Rights Fair, Dallas
5 TCADP Table at Northeast Bexar County Democrats Labor Day Picnic

10 TCADP Table at Austin Pride Festival

13 Scheduled Execution – Steven Woods

15 Scheduled Execution – Duane Buck

15 Seizing the Momentum: Honoring Houston’s Champions of Justice, Station Museum of Contemporary Art.  Tickets

18 TCADP Table at Dallas Pride Festival

19 El Paso Chapter meeting, 7:00pm, elpaso@tcadp.org

20 Scheduled Execution – Cleve Foster

21 Scheduled Execution – Lawrence Brewer, Dallas Chapter Meeting, 7:00pm, dallas@tcadp.org

23 Incendiary / the Willingham Case opens at the Violet Crown Cinema, Austin
25 National Day of Rembrance for Murder Victims

October

2 Odessa Chapter Meeting, 4:00pm odessa@tcadp.org

8 TCADP Table at Oktoberfest, Lancaster

9 World Day Against the Death Penalty event – Houston chapter, houston@tcadp.org

17 El Paso Chapter meeting, 7:00pm, elpaso@tcadp.org

24 Religious Leaders Dialogue on the Death Penalty, Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University, 7:00pm

28-29 TCADP Table at Catholic Formation and Leadership Conference, San Antonio

28-29 TCADP Table at University of Dallas Ministry Conference, Dallas