October Alert: Executions, Upcoming Events and News

Welcome New Supporters!

TCADP would like to extend a special welcome to everyone who has joined our organization and our movement in recent weeks, either through a community event, in response to the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia and other cases of injustice, or simply because it’s time to take a stand. We are inspired by this new surge of interest in the death penalty issue and the desire of so many people to become involved in our efforts to end this arbitrary, irreversible, and discriminatory punishment.

In this monthly alert, you will find numerous opportunities to get involved on the local level. We encourage you to attend these exciting upcoming events and become a TCADP member today! Your support will enable us to reach out to and educate even more Texans about the flaws and failures of the death penalty. We also urge you to share this e-newsletter with your friends and family, along with a personal message about why you’ve decided to commit – or recommit – yourself to the cause of abolition, so that we continue to build our movement.

Thank you again for joining us as we redouble our efforts to seize the momentum and end the death penalty once and for all!

In this Issue:
Scheduled Executions
In the News
Announcements and Updates
Upcoming Events
Calendar

Scheduled Execution

October 27: Frank Garcia

Join TCADP members around the state in opposing all executions – https://tcadp.org/get-involved/stop-executions/.

Update on Duane Buck

Duane Buck received a last-minute stay of execution on September 15, 2011 from the U.S. Supreme Court. He was sentenced to death 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 that he would be 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.

As it begins its new term today, the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet indicated whether it will grant Mr. Buck’s petition, currently pending before the Court. Read more about the case and the stay of execution.

In the News

The End of “Last Meals

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice recently decided that it will no longer provide “last meals” to those facing imminent execution.  The change came at the request of Texas State Senator John Whitmire, the chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, who was outraged by the elaborate meal requested by Lawrence Brewer before his execution last month.  According to reports, Brewer hardly touched the food. Read more, including an editorial by the San Antonio Express-News and a column by Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle.

Announcements & Updates

Annual Awards Nominations

The TCADP Board of Directors seeks nominations for the annual courage, appreciation, and media awards, which will be presented at the 2012 TCADP Annual Conference on February 18, 2012 in San Antonio.  Please nominate worthy individuals and organizations that have made significant and selfless contributions toward ending the death penalty in Texas. The deadline for nominations is October 15, 2011. Learn more and save the date for the 2012 TCADP Annual Conference!

Houston Community Honors “Champions of Justice”

On September 15, 2011, a cross-section of lawyers, professors, activists, lawmakers, students and community supporters gathered for a wonderful evening of food, music, and fellowship as TCADP honored three extraordinary Champions of Justice: State Representative Jessica Farrar, Professor David Dow, and Professor Nicole Casarez. You can watch the heartfelt remarks of our honorees and the special friends who introduced them – and view photographs from the event, thanks to Tom Kilty Photography –  on the TCADP website.

TCADP would like to thank everyone who participated in this special evening! We are particularly grateful to the staff of the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, who hosted the event, to our generous sponsors and host committee members, and to TCADP Board Member Mary Heartlein, whose positivity kept us all moving forward.

(Pictured top to bottom: Anthony Graves with Nicole Casarez, David Dow, Bob Van Steenburg with Rep Jessica Farrar. Photos: Tom Kilty Photography)

Upcoming Events

Religious Leaders Dialogue on the Death Penalty- San Antonio

October 24, 2011 7:00-9:00pm Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University and RSVP!

Seven 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!

El Paso Chapter Meeting
The regular monthly meeting of El Pasoans Against the Death Penalty, on Monday, October 17, will feature TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houlé.  Kristin will provide with information on recent death developments in Texas and TCADP’s strategic goals for organizing in El Paso.  The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Juan Diego Room of St. Pius X Ministry Center located at 1065 North Clark Street, across the street from the church building.  For more information, contact elpaso@tcadp.org.

Exonorees to Speak in Austin, Corpus Christi

On Saturday, October 15, 2011, TCADP’s Corpus Christi Chapter will host a presentation by members of Witness to Innocence at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 6901 Holly Road, at 4 p.m. Witness to Innocence is the nation’s only organization composed of, by and for exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones. For more information about this event, please contact Emilie Olivares at 361-853-6389 or egolivares@yahoo.com.

On Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 7:00 PM, the First United Methodist Church’s Family Life Center (1201 Lavaca Street ) will host exonorees Ron Keine, Greg Wilhoit, Dan Bright, and Albert Burrell. This event is supported in part by the UMC General Board of Church and Society. For more information, please contact Kathy Barrett at kbarretttx@aol.com.

Both events are part of the “Texas Witness to Innocence Freedom Ride.”

World Day Against the Death Penalty – Houston

TCADP’s Houston Chapter and Chapter 23 of Amnesty International will host a special event on Sunday, October 9, 2011 to commemorate World Day Against the Death Penalty (designated as October 10.)  It will feature remarks by SMU Professor Rick Halperin, the former Chairperson of Amnesty International USA and past TCADP President, and the personal testimonies of exonorees Anthony Graves and Clarence Brandley. The event will take place from 4 to 7 PM in Pecore Hall of St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 1805 West Alabama. Contact Nancy Bailey at 281-933-4925 for details and to RSVP.

October Calendar

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

6 St. Mary’s University Death Penalty Panel, San Antonio

8 TCADP Table at Oktoberfest, Lancaster

9 TCADP Table at Fiesta Latinoamericana!, Dallas

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

11 Presentation to Texas Inmate Families Association San Antonio Chapter

15 TCADP Corpus Christi Chapter hosts Witness to Innocence

15 Presentation to Bobcats for Life Conference in San Marcos

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

18 Witness to Innocence Event at First UMC, Austin

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

27 Scheduled execution of Frank Garcia

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

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

For more information about these events or to volunteer, email info@tcadp.org.

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