Dallas innocence legislature Wrongfully Convicted

TCADP June 2023 Newsletter: Anatomy of a Wrongful Conviction

In this edition:

Scheduled executions: A summer without executions in Texas

In case you missed it: U.S. Supreme Court grants stay to Richard Glossip; new reports on exonerations, use of the death penalty worldwide in 2022; a deep dive into the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles; Robert Roberson appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court

Legislative updates: 88th Texas Legislature adjourns (regular session)

Featured events: Join TCADP in Dallas County on June 8 for a community forum on the wrongful conviction of Charles Flores and on June 22 for the next Community & Coffee; attend the TCADP Book Group discussion on June 28 (online)

In memory of Peggy Atwood: Remembering TCADP’s co-founder

Quote of the month

“When I was put in a position to vote on the life of another human being, I realized my number was 0. I will not support a system where there is even a 1% chance we get it wrong, much less 12%. If I’m not willing to be the innocent person executed or if I am not willing to watch my innocent loved one die, then I should not support it at all.”

– Adam Luck, former chairman of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, “Guest: Are you willing to be a sacrifice so that death penalty can continue?”The Oklahoman, May 4, 2023

Scheduled executions

At this time, the State of Texas has one execution scheduled: Jedidiah Murphy, who was convicted in Dallas in 2001, is set to be put to death on October 10, 2023—World Day Against the Death Penalty. This is the first time in recent memory Texas has not had any executions scheduled during the summer months. Any other executions must be scheduled at least 90 days in advance per Texas law.

Nationwide, eleven people have been put to death this year by four states: Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, which has executed five people. The dates for three other men in Texas were withdrawn. Florida and Missouri have executions scheduled in June.

In case you missed it

U.S. Supreme Court stays execution of Richard Glossip as supporters continue to call for a fair trial
On May 5, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of execution for Richard Glossip, who has maintained his innocence throughout 25 years on Oklahoma’s death row. Oklahoma Attorney General, Gentner Drummond, supported the halt of Glossip’s execution, conceded error in this case, and joined Glossip’s request to overturn his conviction. Glossip was set to be put to death on May 18, 2023, despite serious questions about his conviction; his execution has been rescheduled eight times since 2015. Thanks to everyone who has signed petitions on his behalf.

New reports on exonerations, use of the death penalty worldwide
According to a new report from Amnesty International, a total of 883 people were known to have been executed by 20 countries in 2022. This includes 18 executions in the United States. The use of the death penalty remains shrouded in secrecy in several countries that use the death penalty extensively, including China, North Korea, and Viet Nam, which means the true global figure is far higher. 

The annual report from the National Registry of Exonerations finds that the 233 people who were exonerated in the United States in 2022 lost an average of 9.6 years to wrongful imprisonment for crimes they did not commit—2,245 years in total. This includes 11 people exonerated last year in Texas. Learn more about these wrongful convictions and the factors that contributed to them.

What do we really know about “…the most secretive agency in state government”?
TCADP often asks you to contact the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles in support of the clemency applications of those facing execution, but what do you really know about the Board? In his article for the Austin Chronicle, Brant Bingamon takes a deep dive into what he says is “regarded as the most secretive agency in state government,” one that does not even meet to deliberate its life-and-death decisions.

Robert Roberson seeks relief from the U.S. Supreme Court for wrongful conviction
On May 11, 2023, attorneys for Robert Roberson filed a petition for certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA), which denied Roberson a new trial earlier this year. The CCA disregarded unrebutted new scientific and medical evidence that not only debunks Shaken Baby Syndrome—the hypothesis the state asserted during Roberson’s 2003 trial in Anderson County—but also shows that his daughter Nikki died of natural and accidental causes. Roberson has spent 20 years on death row in Texas for a crime that never occurred. To learn more, visit this website and listen to the episode of Jason Flom’s podcast, “Wrongful Conviction,” spotlighting Roberson’s case. 

Legislative updates

The regular session of the 88th Texas Legislature adjourned sine die on May 29, 2023. Although abolition bills did not receive committee hearings, the Texas House of Representatives passed nearly a dozen bills related to the administration of the death penalty, including requiring a judge to withdraw an execution date at the request of a prosecutor and clarifying the unanimity requirement in jury instructions. Regrettably, none of these bills advanced in the State Senate. Lawmakers in both chambers did pass a bill that would prohibit the use of hypnotically induced statements in a criminal trial. If signed into law, Texas will join 27 other states in banning the practice of forensic hypnosis. And speaking of hypnosis…

Featured events

Anatomy of a Wrongful Conviction: The Case of Charles Don Flores
One week from today, on Thursday, June 8, 2023, TCADP will gather with local justice advocates for a community forum about wrongful convictions and the case of Charles Don Flores, featuring Christopher Scott, attorney Gretchen Sween, and other experts. Flores was convicted in Dallas County in 1999 and has spent more than 20 years on a death row for a crime he maintains he did not commit. Texas courts have refused to consider evidence that undermines his conviction, and the case against him is fraught with many concerning issues, including the use of forensic hypnosis on a key witness. Join us at Church of the Disciple in DeSoto from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. RSVP here.

Coffee & Community in DFW
Join your fellow TCADP supporters in DFW for a local meet-up on Thursday, June 22, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, at Union Coffee (3705 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75219). Our Deputy Director Tiara Cooper will be holding space on a monthly basis for all interested in learning more about TCADP and how to get connected with our ongoing efforts and events. To RSVP, email 

TCADP Book Group
The TCADP Book Group meets every six to eight weeks on Zoom and reads a mix of fiction, non-fiction, and memoirs. Join us for a discussion of An Execution in the Family: One Son’s Journey by Robert Meeropol on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 at 7:30 PM Central Time. Register here.

In memory of Peggy Atwood

TCADP expresses its condolences to Dave Atwood on the loss of his wife, Peggy, who passed away on April 30, 2023. Peggy worked as a nurse in hospitals in New York and in Houston, where she and Dave moved in 1972. In the mid-1990s, Dave and Peggy founded TCADP. She also did volunteer work with the 4th Ward Clinic, Pax Christi Texas, and the Houston Peace and Justice Center. If you would like to donate in memory of Peggy, visit