FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
CONTACT: Kristin Houlé Cuellar, TCADP Executive Director
512-552-5948 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
Family members of Rodney Reed to address TCADP Annual Conference in San Antonio
Statewide gathering will honor former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judge and member of Rodney Reed’s legal team, among others
(Austin, Texas) — Advocates from across Texas will gather this Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Whitley Theological Center on the campus of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio for the 22nd annual conference of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP). This event, 2020 Vision for Texas: A Leap Towards Justice, will feature workshops, a keynote address by family members of Rodney Reed, and a panel discussion with The Honorable Joe Gonzales, the current District Attorney of Bexar County, and The Honorable Sam Millsap, who served as Bexar County District Attorney from 1983 to 1987. Professor Roger Barnes, who chairs the Department of Sociology at University of Incarnate Word, will moderate their conversation about past and present use of the death penalty in Bexar County.
Rodrick Reed and Wana Akpan will provide the keynote address. Rodrick is the younger brother of Rodney Reed, who came within five days of being executed by the State of Texas last year despite serious questions about the integrity of his conviction. On November 15, 2019, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution and ordered the case back to the trial court to consider Reed’s claims of false testimony and actual innocence, among other issues. Rodrick and his wife, Wana, along with other members of the Reed family, worked relentlessly to stop Rodney’s execution and raise awareness of the flaws and failures of the death penalty, particularly the impact it has on the family members of individuals on death row.
During the conference, TCADP will present The Honorable Elsa Alcala with the 2020 Courage Award. In 2018, Judge Alcala left the judiciary after 20 years as a state judge in Texas, having served three different courts, including the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Now a self-employed attorney, Judge Alcala is a prominent critic of the death penalty.
TCADP will present Appreciation Awards to two individuals:
- Rick McClatchy, State Coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas, for his leadership in responding to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s abrupt decision in April 2019 to remove chaplains from the execution chamber, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution to Patrick Murphy on grounds of religious discrimination.
- Quinncy McNeal, a Houston-based attorney with Mayer Brown who is part of Rodney Reed’s legal defense team.
The 2020 Media Award will be presented to Will Francome, Mark Pizzey, and Laura Shacham in recognition of their documentary films, “The Penalty” and “One for Ten.”
Individuals who will be leading breakout sessions during the conference include the following:
- Hannah Cox, National Manager of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty
- Jeff Newberry, legal clinic supervisor at the University of Houston Law Center
- Representatives from the Texas Organizing Project and MOVE Texas
The TCADP 2020 Annual Conference will take place at the Whitley Theological Center on the campus of the Oblate School of Theology (285 Oblate Dr, San Antonio, TX 78216) from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on February 29, 2020. The keynote address and awards ceremony will take place from 12:30 to 2:30 PM. All are welcome.
For detailed information about the panelists, keynote speaker, and award recipients, visit https://tcadp.org/what-we-do/annual-conference/.
TCADP is a statewide, grassroots advocacy organization based in Austin.