November 2011 Alert: Stop the Execution of Hank Skinner, Upcoming Events, and More!

In this Edition:
Executions
Announcement and Updates
In the News
Upcoming Events
Calendar

Executions

Urge DNA Testing for Hank Skinner!

On November 9, 2011, Hank Skinner is scheduled to be executed in Texas despite the fact that key evidence collected at the crime scene has never been tested for DNA.  Please sign a new petition from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty that urges state officials to conduct DNA testing in this case. Read a letter from prominent elected officials, along with former judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers, that calls on state officials not to execute Mr. Skinner until that DNA testing can be performed.

Oppose the Execution of Guadalupe Esparza

On November 16, 2011, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute Guadalupe Esparza for the rape and murder of seven-year old Alyssa Vasquez in San Antonio in 1999.

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

Update on Duane Buck

The U.S. Supreme Court still has not 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 September.

Announcements & Updates

2011 TCADP Fall Quarterly Newsletter

In this issue:
Pictures from Seizing the Momentum: Honoring Houston’s Champions of Justice
Texas Voices: Freddi Jensen
Religious Leaders Dialogue on the Death Penalty
From the Field

Read it now!

TCADP Establishes Advisory Board

We are delighted to announce that more than 20 individuals have accepted our invitation to serve on the newly-formed TCADP Advisory Board!  Members include religious and civic leaders, legislators, former TCADP Board members, notable authors, musicians, and actors, and exonoree and activist Anthony Graves. View the full list and visit links to bios for individual members.

Religious Leaders Dialogue on the Death Penalty

TCADP cosponsored an unprecedented event in San Antonio with eight high-level religious leaders and Karen Clifton of the Catholic Mobilizing Network as moderator!  More than 200 people representing diverse faith traditions attended the event.

One of the panelists, Bishop Hibbs of the West Texas Episcopal Diocese, spoke of counseling a young man bereft and angry at the loss of his sister to murder.  The Bishop spoke of the journey it took to bring this young man back to recognizing the humanity of all, even his sister’s murderers.

TCADP is following up with the attendees and the religious leaders to plan for next steps!  All clergy are invited to sign the TCADP Interfaith sign-on letter (complete online or print and return it to TCADP).  Learn more about the Bexar County Campaign and the ways you can get involved!

See the pictures. Look for the videos to come later this week on our Religious Outreach page.

In the News
“Death Penalty’s Unlikely Opponents”

Last month CNN ran a remarkable story about a powerful source of opposition to the death penalty: murder victims’ family members (“Death penalty’s unlikely opponents,” October 24, 2011). The article features several compelling individuals – including Jan Brown of Texas – who have “lost loved ones to unspeakable violence yet believe executing the killer will do nothing for family members or society.”  Read their inspiring stories today.

“Perry Displays Varied Stance Toward Crime”

An October 31, 2011 article in the New York Times, “Perry Displays Varied Stance Toward Crime,” provides interesting and rare insight into past decisions by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles with regard to death penalty cases, as well as Governor Rick Perry’s role in the process. It focuses particularly on the case of Kelsey Patterson, a severely mentally ill man, who was executed in 2004 despite a recommendation of clemency by the Board. The article also addresses Governor Perry’s mixed record on criminal justice issues. Read it here.

Upcoming Events

Interfaith Prayer Service

On Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 10:00 AM, the Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, will lead an interfaith prayer service outside the Walls Unit in Huntsville (815 12th Street). Following the prayer service, participants will share a meal at St. Thomas Catholic Church. Contact Dave Atwood at 832-693-5710or dpatwood@igc.org for more information and to RSVP.

Film Screening in Odessa

On Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 4:00 PM, TCADP’s Odessa Chapter will host a screening of “At the Death House Door” during its regular monthly meeting. This film documents the journey of Reverend Carroll Pickett, who served as the death house chaplain at the Walls Unit for 15 years. Contact Lorina Martinez for more information: Odessa@tcadp.org.

Dallas DNA Exonorees to Speak in Hurst (Tarrant County)
Also on November 6, at 6:30 PM, the First United Methodist Church of Hurst (521 W Pipeline Rd) presents “Faith Seeking Justice: Wrongfully Imprisoned.” This program will feature presentations by Rev. Dorothy Budd, Episcopal Deacon, Church of the Incarnation, and author of “Tested: How Ten Wrongly Imprisoned Men Held Onto Hope,” along with assistant Dallas County District Attorney Michelle Morris and several of the DNA exonorees from Dallas County. For more information please call 817-481-6707.

Special Edition of Life Front: An Examination of the Death Penalty

November 29, 7:00 p.m., St. Joseph Catholic Church, 600 S. Jupiter Rd., Richardson 75081 in the Upper Room.   The Catholic Pro-Life Committee and Catholic Charities are presenting a special edition of Life Front to examine the death penalty. The presentation will focus on what it means, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, to be “unconditionally pro-life” and to “proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation,” including for those persons who have committed violent crimes. Reserve your spot for this enlightening discussion at prolifedallas.org/lifefront. For more information, contact cplc@prolifedallas.org or 972-267-LIFE (5433).

Calendar

November

3    Presentation by David Mann, Editor of the Texas Observer: “The CSI Myth: How Problems  with Forensic Evidence Have Sent Many Innocent People to Prison”; 7 PM at Monkey Wrench Books, 110 East North Loop Boulevard, Austin

5    Interfaith Prayer Service, Huntsville

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

6    Presentations by Dallas Exonorees at First UMC Hurst

9    Scheduled Execution of Hank Skinner

16  Scheduled Execution of Guadalupe Esparza

17  TCADP Presentation to Houston Metro ELCA Ministerium

21  El Paso Chapter Meeting, 7:00 PM elpaso@tcadp.org

29   Special Edition of Life Front, St Joseph Catholic Church, Richardson, 7:00pm

December

1    TCADP Table at Dallas Peace Center Annual Dinner

3    Community Activist Training in San Antonio https://tcadp.org/bexar-county-campaign/

7    TCADP Annual Report Release and Anniversary of the Resumption of Executions in Texas in 1982

10  International Human Rights Day

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

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