death penalty Stay of execution Texas U.S. Supreme Court

TCADP December 2017 Alert: The gift of justice

In this edition of our monthly alert, you’ll find information about the most recent stay of execution granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, as well as announcements related to the TCADP 2018 Annual Conference and coverage of a potential U.S. Supreme Court hearing questioning the constitutionality of the death penalty.

In this edition:
Scheduled executions: Last execution of 2017 halted by Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
TCADP 2018 Annual Conference: Join us in honoring the recipients of our Appreciation, Courage, and Founder’s Awards
In case you missed it: U.S. Supreme Court case could end death penalty; Consensus: Bobby Moore doesn’t belong on death row; Seizing the Momentum, TCADP’s Fall 2017 Newsletter
Invest in justice: TCADP gift cards now available

Quote of the month
“I am not anti-death penalty, but I wouldn’t call myself an advocate for it. My two first assistant DAs, one is very anti-death penalty and thinks the government should never play a role in ending someone’s life. I have another assistant who thinks an eye for an eye is the way to go. And I guess I’m in the middle. Now I want to see what our community decides.”

– Mark Gonzalez, Nueces County District Attorney
Meet Nueces County’s New DA,” Texas Observer, November 6, 2017.

Scheduled Executions
On November 28, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) stayed the execution of Juan Castillo to review claims of false testimony. This marks the sixth case granted a stay by the CCA this year. Castillo was scheduled to be executed on December 14, 2017, for the 2003 murder and robbery of Tommy Garcia, Jr. in San Antonio. An earlier execution date was postponed due to Hurricane Harvey.

Castillo’s execution was the last scheduled by the State of Texas for the year. In 2017, the State of Texas executed 7 individuals. There are currently 5 executions scheduled for 2018.

You’ll find more information on Texas death penalty developments for 2017 in TCADP’s forthcoming year-end report.

TCADP 2018 Annual Conference: February 17, 2018
The TCADP Board of Directors is delighted to announce the recipients of our 2018 Awards, which will be presented during the TCADP 2018 Annual Conference on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at Friendship-West Baptist Church in South Dallas.

Appreciation Awards

  • Reverend DeAnna Golsan, for sharing her story about her change of heart on the death penalty and her experience of ministering to the family of a man facing execution – and to the man himself – with Texas legislators and other faith leaders.
  • House of Renewed Hope, an organization founded by several Dallas County exonorees who investigate wrongful convictions and correct injustices.  We are especially grateful for their work on the death penalty case of Max Soffar.
  • Jeff Newberry, for his tireless legal representation of Robert Pruett, who was executed by the State of Texas on October 12, 2017, and for the compassion and kindness he displayed towards Robert’s friends and family.

Courage Award
Glenn and Judy Cherry, for their unwavering opposition to the death penalty for the man who killed their son, Jonas, and their public efforts to stop the execution of Paul David Storey in April 2017.

David P. Atwood Founder’s Award
Rev. Wes Magruder, in recognition of his many important contributions to the cause of ending the death penalty, particularly his leadership in engaging United Methodists in the North Texas Conference on this issue.

Register now! Join us for the full day or for the awards luncheon and keynote address featuring Rev. Sharon Risher.

Learn more about our award winners and join us in celebrating these extraordinary individuals at the conference luncheon.  We also invite you to congratulate the honorees by placing an ad in the conference program and/or sponsoring a table at the luncheon.

In case you missed it
Supreme Court case could end death penalty
A pending case at the U.S. Supreme Court could finally address the constitutionality of the death penalty. According to the Houston ChronicleHidalgo v. Arizona “challenges the overly broad qualifying factors that can make a murder conviction death-eligible in Arizona.” It also raises the question of whether the death penalty as a practice is constitutional. The Justices are expected to decide this month if they will hear arguments in the case on either or both questions.

Consensus: Bobby Moore doesn’t belong on death row
On March 28, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-3 in Moore v. Texas that the state of Texas must use current medical standards for determining whether a person is intellectually disabled and therefore exempt from execution.  Now Bobby Moore’s case is back at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for reconsideration.Conservativesdisability advocates, and even the Harris County District Attorney all support removing Moore from death row and reducing his sentence to life in prison based on his intellectual disabilities.

Fall 2017 issue of Seizing the Momentum
The latest issue of our quarterly newsletter features a tribute to Governor Mark White and two TCADP members who passed away earlier this year. It also includes information about the TCADP 2018 Annual Conference and a review of the soon to be published Salvation on Death Row.

Invest in justice
There are many ways for you to give the gift of justice this holiday season:

  • Consider making a special donation to TCADP by December 31, 2017. We seek to raise $20,000 by the end of the year to advance our initiatives to reduce use of the death penalty. Go to to make a secure, tax-deductible gift today.
  • Donate in honor of a friend or loved one. TCADP holiday gift cards are available online.
  • Support TCADP by shopping on AmazonSmile or through Giving Assistant and designating your purchases to benefit our organization.  Every dollar counts!