The State of Texas is scheduled to carry out two executions this month:
- On March 19, 2014, Ray Jasper is scheduled to be put to death. Jasper, a rapper who was 19 at the time of the crime, was convicted of murdering local studio owner David Alejandro and stealing his recording equipment in Bexar County in November 1998. His two co-defendants received life sentences.
- On March 27, 2014, Anthony Doyle is scheduled to be executed for killing and robbing 47-year-old Hyun Cho, who was delivering a food order Doyle had placed to his parent’s home in Rowlett (Dallas County) in 2003. Doyle was 18 at the time of the crime.
Recent Death Penalty Developments
Texas has executed two people to date in 2014, out of ten nationwide. To date this year, there have been two new death sentences and one jury rejection:
- On February 20, 2014, a Harris County jury sentenced George Curry to death for the slaying of 19-year-old Edward Virappen during a robbery at a Popeye’s Chicken in May 2009.
- Brandon Daniel was sentenced to death in Travis County on February 28, 2014 for the murder of Austin Police Office Jaime Pedron in 2012. According to the Austin American-Statesman, jurors spent more than eight hours deliberating on the punishment for Daniel. This was the first new death sentence in Travis County since 2011.
- On February 5, 2014, an El Paso County jury rejected the death penalty for Christian Martinez after finding him guilty of capital murder in the 2011 deaths of Amalia Flores, 58, and her daughter Jovana Flores, 20. Ten of the twelve jurors agreed that mitigating evidence warranted a sentence other than death.
Robert Redford’s “Death Row Stories” to Premiere on CNN
“Death Row Stories” is a new 8-part series premiering on March 9 on CNN that will examine actual death penalty cases. The show is produced by Robert Redford and narrated by Dead Man Walking star Susan Sarandon. Redford said, “This series is about the search for justice and truth, we are pleased to … tell these important stories and give a voice to these cases.” Prior to the premiere, CNN is offering interested parties an opportunity for a preview and the ability to participate in a Google Hangout featuring a discussion by the producers and law professors John Blume of Cornell and Robert Blecker of New York Law School. The Google Hangout will be held March 5 at 6 pm EST and is open to the public, but an RSVP is required. A promo for the show can be found here. (CNN, “Death Row Stories,” Press materials; DPIC posted Feb. 21, 2014).
Help TCADP Amplify Austin!
Amplify Austin is a community-wide day of online philanthropy sponsored by “I Live Here, I Give Here”, with the goal of raising $4 million in 24 hours for Austin-based participating nonprofits, including TCADP!
Last year we raised more than $5,000 through this campaign!
Beginning at 6pm on March 20th, through 6pm on March 21st, TCADP is asking all of our supporters (not just those living in Austin) to increase their giving or give for the first time at the $25 level or above. During the 24-hour giving period, you can give at https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/TCADP/overview.
Help us defend our title as the 1:00-2:00pm champions. Last year, TCADP won a $1,000 bonus prize for having the most donors during the 1:00-2:00pm giving hour. Let’s repeat in 2014!
Please concentrate your giving on Friday, March 21 – 1:00 to 2:00pm Central Standard Time!
You might even think about giving Friday, March 21, at:
1:12 PM for the 12 people exonerated from Texas death row
1:19 PM for the 119 Texas counties that have never sent anyone to death row
1:39 PM for the 139 countries that have abolished the death penalty in law or practice
1:43 PM for the 143 death row exonerations nationwide
1:50 PM for the 150 supporters who recently attended the TCADP conference
Can’t make it during that hour? No problem, just give during the 24-hour cycle of Thursday, March 20, 6:00pm to Friday, March 21, 6:00pm to make us eligible for more cash perks! Learn more
- Set an alarm on your phone, google calendar, Ical, Outlook, etc. for Friday, March 21 at 1:00pm and then go to https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/TCADP/ and give a minimum of $25.
- Set up a special fundraising page for TCADP and seek support from your friends and family. Do it here.
- Sample Tweet – Who loves @TCADPdotORG and ending the #deathpenalty? Help TCADP #AmplifyATX 3/21 1:00-2:00pm! http://bit.ly/1eWzBHf
- Sample Facebook – I’m ready to end the #deathpenalty! Are you? Check out #AmplifyATX and ways you can help TCADP! http://bit.ly/1eWzBHf
TCADP 2014 Annual Conference: “Lighting the Way”
Our 2014 Annual Conference, which took place on Saturday, February 22 at University Christian Church in Fort Worth, included a record number of attendees, who all seemed to have great take aways from their day. Videos of the keynote address and awards ceremony are available on the TCADP YouTube Channel. Check out the photos! See a compilation of the social media posts from the Conference – sfy.co/bbDe.
A tremendous thank you to the staff at University Christian Church and all the speakers, sponsors, and TCADP members and volunteers who made the conference possible. Read more about them and everything that occurred at the conference in the program. Save the date: TCADP 2015 Annual Conference, February 21, 2015 in Austin,Texas!
In the News
We recently noted the fact that 10 years have passed since Cameron Todd Willingham was executed by the State of Texas, despite strong evidence of his innocence and serious doubts as to whether the fire that took the lives of his three young daughters was caused by arson. Last week, the Innocence Project filed new documents with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles in its petition for a posthumous pardon for Willingham. The documents point to new evidence that strongly suggests that jailhouse informant Johnny Webb received a deal from Navarro County District Attorney John Jackson in exchange for his testimony against Willingham at trial.
According to the Innocence Project, “This new evidence also strongly suggests that Jackson, who had since become a district court judge, deceived the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Navarro County District Attorney’s Office about the existence of a deal, which had they known about, would have almost certainly spared Willingham’s life.” Read more about this latest development in the New York Times and Houston Chronicle. If you haven’t done so already, sign this petition calling on the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to investigate Willingham’s case.
Fundraising Opportunity: Amazon.com Supports TCADP!
If you enjoy shopping on Amazon, please consider sharing some of your purchase power with TCADP. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
Please note: You must log into your account through amazonsmile.com for your purchases to benefit TCADP.
Just click the box and connect your AmazonSmile account with TCADP!
Calendar and Volunteer Opportunities
4 Primary Election Day: Please Vote!
18 Dallas TCADP meeting, Cathedral of Hope in room CLC 196 at 6:30pm.
19 Scheduled Execution – Ray Jasper, 6:00pm
20-21 Amplify Austin – Concentrate your giving Friday, March 21 from 1:00 to 2:00pm if possible. https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/TCADP
22 TCADP Information Table at the Travis County Democratic Party Convention. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
25 El Pasoans Against the Death Penalty meeting 7:00pm in the Mother Teresa Room of St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1050 N. Clark Street, El Paso. All are welcome! email@example.com
26 TCADP Lunch discussion, Austin 12:00-1:00pm. Details TBD – Stay Tuned!
26 Collin County meeting 7pm at Suncreek UMC, Allen. Meeting will include watching an episode of Robert Redford’s new series on CNN – “Death Row Stories.” firstname.lastname@example.org
26-27 TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houlé will visit Beaumont to speak with students at Lamar University and local members.
27 University of Houston NAACP Death Penalty Panel Discussion, H Fred J Heyne Room 43, 6:00-8:00pm. Featuring TCADP Board Members Angelle Adams and Pat Monks among other invited guests.
27 Scheduled Execution – Anthony Doyle, 6:00pm
4-6 TCADP information table at the Texas Junior State of America convention, Houston
12 Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty information table at Young Americans for Liberty Texas Convention, Texas State University 9:00-7:00pm. *Conservative Volunteers needed to assist with table, please contact email@example.com.