Stop Executions

You have a critical role to play in stopping executions in Texas. On this page, you will find the dates of scheduled executions, information on clemency campaigns, and contact information for the Governor of Texas and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. On the days of scheduled executions, we encourage you to take part in vigils in your areaFollow TCADP on X/Twitter @TCADPdotORG for case updates.

Texas Executions in 2024

Scheduled Executions (4)

June 26, 2024: Ramiro Gonzales. Share his story on social media, watch his clemency video, and sign the petition to save his life. See below for details.

July 16, 2024: Ruben Gutierrez. This is the fifth execution date Gutierrez has faced since 2018. Most recently, he came within an hour of being put to death on June 16, 2020, before the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay. Over the 25 years Gutierrez has spent on death row, he has consistently maintained he did not kill Escolastica Harrison.

August 7, 2024: Arthur Lee Burton

September 24, 2024: Travis Mullis 

Executions (1)

On February 28, 2024, the State of Texas put Ivan Cantu to death despite grave doubts about the integrity of his conviction and widespread calls to stop his execution, including from the jury foreman at his trial. Cantu maintained his innocence throughout his two decades on death row. 

Stays of Execution (1)

March 13, 2024: James Harris, Jr. Stay granted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on February 21. The Court remanded his application to the trial court to make findings of fact on whether the jury selection process in his trial violated the Equal Protection Clause.

Clemency Campaigns: Ramiro Gonzales

Source: Elisabetta Diorio

Update as of June 24, 2024: Today, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously against recommending clemency or a reprieve for Ramiro Gonzales, despite evidence of his rehabilitation and remorse. He still has several pleadings before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

STATEMENT OF THEA POSEL AND RAOUL SCHONEMANN, COUNSEL FOR RAMIRO GONZALES

“We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles’ decision to refuse to recommend clemency for our client Ramiro Gonzales, a man who today is, in almost every sense, a different person than he was when he killed Bridget Townsend in 2001.

“Ramiro lives this transformation every day, and it is evident to prison officials, faith leaders, friends, family, his lawyers, and many people across the country and the world who have seen and been touched by his story, his growth, his faith, and his commitment to change. We know this because we, through our representation and relationships with Ramiro, are changed as well. As Ramiro’s spiritual advisor has said, “Ramiro makes people’s lives better.” For those who shared the video, signed the petition, and wrote the Governor and the Board, we thank you.

“The State of Texas provides by law that a defendant may only be sentenced to death if the jury finds that they will pose a future danger to society. Ramiro not only has disproven the jury’s prediction—he has never committed a single act or threat of violence since he was sentenced to death in 2006—but in fact actively contributes to prison society in exceptional ways. He should not be executed.

“Yet the Board of Pardons and Paroles today refused to recommend clemency for Ramiro, so Governor Abbott may not do so either. At this point, we can only hope that the courts give proper consideration to Ramiro’s constitutional claims still before them. We will continue to fight for his life in every way possible.

If Ramiro is executed on Wednesday, the world will be a darker place without him.”

Background on the case
On June 26, 2024, Ramiro Gonzales is set to be put to death for the 2001 kidnapping, rape, and murder of Bridget Townsend in Medina County. These crimes occurred barely two months after Ramiro’s 18th birthday while he was in the throes of a serious cocaine addiction rooted in childhood trauma and neglect. (The U.S. Supreme Court held in 2005 that the Constitution bars imposition of the death penalty on anyone under the age of 18.) 

Bridget’s murder went unsolved for a year and a half until Ramiro suddenly confessed while awaiting transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after pleading guilty and being sentenced to life imprisonment for an unrelated offense. During his trial, Ramiro’s court-appointed attorneys failed to present mitigating evidence related to his abusive upbringing, which would have provided context for his impulsive behavior and acts of violence.

Since the moment he confessed, Ramiro has held himself accountable and sought to atone for the harm he has caused. In the almost two decades he has spent on death row, he has devoted himself to self-improvement, contemplation, and prayer. Ramiro is devoutly religious and shares his practice with spiritual advisors and with others on death row. 

Ramiro also faced execution two years ago, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay and remanded his claim about false testimony by the State’s trial expert regarding recidivism ratesThat same expert re-evaluated him years after the trial and concluded that Ramiro does not present a danger to anyone. Several guards on death row have attested to his compliant behavior and positive impact on those around him. 

Learn more about Ramirowatch his clemency video, and share his story of redemption on social media using the hashtag #SaveRamiro.

Past Clemency Campaigns

In this section, you will find examples of clemency campaigns TCADP has supported in recent years. We appreciate everyone who participated in these campaigns and raised their voices in opposition to all executions in Texas.

Ivan Cantu
On February 28, 2024, the State of Texas put Ivan Cantu to death despite grave doubts about the integrity of his conviction and widespread calls to stop his execution. Cantu maintained his innocence throughout his two decades on death row. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied relief and refused to stop his execution. Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles did not recommend clemency or a reprieve for Cantu.

Cantu also faced execution in April 2023 before the date was withdrawn by a district court judge in Collin County, who agreed additional legal proceedings were necessary. In August 2023, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Cantu’s appeal and Collin County set a new execution date.

Cantu was convicted of killing his cousin James Mosqueda and James’s fiancé, Amy Kitchen, in north Dallas in 2000. An independent investigation into the case exposed multiple falsehoods in the testimony of Amy Boettcher, who was Cantu’s girlfriend at the time of the crime and the main witness against him at trial. Her brother, Jeff, has disavowed his testimony against Cantu at trial, insisting he was not credible because of his history of drug abuse. None of this evidence was reviewed by any court as it came to light after Cantu’s state and federal habeas corpus proceedings had concluded.

Disturbed by the prospect they heard false and misleading testimony during the trial, some of the jurors who sentenced Cantu to death in 2001 wanted this evidence to be reviewed. 

Jury foreman Jeffrey Calhoun wrote in a commentary piece published in the Austin American-Statesman he felt like he “was fooled” by witnesses who lied under oath and he urged the State to stop the execution.

Calhoun wrote, “I am a proud Texan, conservative, and strongly support the direction our governor has taken in upholding the standards and freedom we Texans enjoy. In full respect, I ask Governor Abbott, that you hand me back the document I signed that confirmed the jury’s decision, and delay the execution of Ivan Cantu so further examination can be conducted. This one is unfortunately flawed and therefore incomplete.” 

Read more about the case in these articles, which include interviews with Cantu:

CNN: “With Days Left Before He’s Executed, Ivan Cantu Insists He’s Innocent Of Double-Murder”

NBC News/Noticias Telemundo: “A Texas Man On Death Row Says His Execution This Month Would Be ‘For A Crime I Didn’t Commit’”

TCADP thanks everyone who contacted the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Abbott in support of Cantu’s clemency application.

Brent Ray Brewer

A terrible injustice took place in Texas on November 9, 2023, when the State executed Brent Brewer more than 32 years after he was convicted of killing Robert Laminack in Amarillo. Brewer was 19 at the time of the crime. The robbery and murder of Mr. Laminack in 1990 occurred just weeks after Brewer left a state mental hospital, where he had been involuntarily committed for depression and suicidal thoughts. Like so many on death row, Brewer’s childhood had been marked by neglect and trauma caused by repeated exposure to domestic violence.

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court denied Brewer’s final appeals, his attorney issued this heart wrenching statement:

“Brent Brewer will be executed by Texas tonight. His execution is the farthest thing from justice.  Brent’s story is one of complete redemption. He recognized and repented for the deeds he had done and totally redeemed himself during his thirty-four years in prison. The Brent that Texas wished to execute is long gone. The Brent they are killing tonight is a kind, generous, peaceful and thoughtful man who spent the vast majority of his time repenting and in religious studies. He is profoundly remorseful for his crime, committed when he was just nineteen, and he would have done anything to take back the pain he caused the victim’s family.

“It’s also important to note that Brent’s death sentence was a fraud. Texas used the unscientific, baseless testimony of Dr. Richard Coons to claim Brent would be a future danger, although the state and the courts have admitted for years that this exact doctor’s testimony was unreliable and should not be considered by juries in capital cases. Yet the courts repeatedly refused to step in and stop Brent’s execution.  One juror clearly expressed her belief that Brent deserved a life sentence, but Texas’s misleading jury instructions confused her into thinking her vote would not make a difference. Yet the clemency board ignored our pleas for mercy.

“When those of us who know Brent Brewer reflect back on his life, the first word that will come to mind is redemption. He has worked every day on his religious faith which has been at the center of his life. He has cared for everyone who he came into contact with: guards, counselors, fellow inmates, medical staff and his attorneys. He has cared deeply for his family, particularly his sister and they for him. Brent will rest in peace.”

Watch this video of Brewer speaking about his remorse, growth, and his participation in the death row faith-based program: https://f.io/2QgpYtol.


Will Speer

On October 256, 2023, less than five hours before he was set to be put to death, Will Speer was granted a stay of execution by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (Texas CCA). 

Speer raised five issues in his application before the Texas CCA, alleging that his counsel had been ineffective for failing to investigate and present his history of unfathomable neglect and abuse to the jury; he also claimed multiple grounds of prosecutorial misconduct, including withholding Brady evidence and presenting false testimony. The CCA stayed the execution pending further order of the Court.

TCADP is grateful to everyone who took part in the campaign to #SaveWillSpeer and to the incredible team of lawyers, mitigation specialists, and investigators who worked tirelessly to save his life. We will provide updates on his case as they become available. Learn more about Will Speer.


Andre Thomas

Andre Thomas resides at the Wayne Scott Unit, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s psychiatric facility, where the most mentally ill Texas prisoners are housed. He suffers from schizophrenia and permanently blinded himself by gouging out both of his eyes, on separate occasions. Over the course of his life, Thomas sought treatment for the symptoms of his severe mental illness, but no one responded to his increasingly desperate pleas for help.

Thomas faced execution on April 5, 2023, but the 15th Judicial District Court in Grayson County withdrew that date to allow his legal team reasonable time to investigate and prepare a threshold showing that Thomas is incompetent for execution. The judge has since held that the threshold showing has been made, and a determination of Thomas’s competence will proceed in state courts.

Before the date was withdrawn, dozens of Texas mental health professionals and advocates and over 100 Texas faith leaders, along with national Evangelical leaders and the nation’s leading mental health organizations, filed letters supporting Thomas’s clemency application.

Thanks to everyone who signed and shared the petition to #SaveAndreThomas. We will be in touch with further developments in this case.


Melissa Lucio

Melissa Lucio, one of seven women on death row in Texas, was convicted and sentenced to death in Cameron County in 2008 for causing the death of her two-year-old daughter, Mariah. There is compelling evidence that Mariah’s death was a tragic accident resulting from a head injury she suffered in a fall—not a homicide. 

Update as of April 16, 2024:
Statement of Melissa Lucio’s Attorneys

“On April 12, 2024, the Honorable Judge Arturo Nelson entered findings of fact and conclusions of law recommending that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) overturn Melissa Lucio’s conviction and death sentence. Judge Nelson, who presided over Melissa’s trial, found that critical information was withheld from the defense at the time of trial. On April 25, 2022, the CCA issued a stay of execution for Melissa and ordered the 138th Judicial District Court of Cameron Country to consider new evidence of her innocence in the death of her daughter, Mariah Alvarez, along with other claims challenging the fairness and reliability of her conviction. Following the remand and in response to the CCA’s directive, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office undertook further review of Melissa’s case. After that review, the DA’s office concluded that the undisputed facts show that favorable evidence was withheld from Melissa’s defense team at the time of trial. Judge Nelson found that critical information was withheld from the defense at the time of trial and that Lucio ‘met her burden of proof, by a preponderance of the evidence, that she would not have been convicted in light of the suppressed evidence.’ The case now moves to the CCA, which has the ultimate power to decide whether the conviction should be set aside.”

— Vanessa Potkin, Director of Special Litigation at the Innocence Project; Richard Ellis, attorney at law; Tivon Schardl, Chief of the Capital Habeas Unit for the Federal Public Defender in the Western District of Texas; and Professor Sandra Babcock, Director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Melissa Lucio’s Attorneys

— April 15, 2024

Statement of the Family of Melissa Lucio

“We are grateful to our mother’s legal team for their hard work to bring the truth to light and to D.A. Saenz for taking another look at our mother’s case and recognizing that she did not receive a fair trial and her conviction should be overturned. Important evidence that our sister Mariah’s death was an accident, not a murder, was never presented to the jury. We hope and pray the Court of Criminal Appeals will agree with the District Attorney, the defense, and Judge Nelson and our mother can come home to her family. It’s been 17 years that we have been without her. We love her and miss her and can’t wait to hug her.”

— Bobby Alvarez, Melissa Lucio’s son
— John and Michelle Lucio, Melissa’s Son and Daughter-in-Law

— April 15, 2024

The court’s order can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/yzmcf5r4 

The joint statement of the Cameron County District Attorney and the Legal Team for Melissa Lucio can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/5f6vpsck

Agreed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on Applicant’s First Subsequent Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus can be viewed here:https://tinyurl.com/jhjh7a5v

For more information, visit https://innocenceproject.org/who-is-melissa-lucio-death-penalty-texas-execution-innocent/

Background information
On April 25, 2022, just two days before her scheduled execution, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay to Melissa Lucio. The Court ordered the 138th Judicial District Court of Cameron County to consider multiple claims related to new evidence of Melissa’s innocence of the accidental death of her daughter, Mariah.

You can find statements from Melissa Lucio and her attorneys in response to the stay here.

The Court’s Stay Order re: Application for Post-Conviction and Habeas Petition: https://tinyurl.com/42h4zb6n

Melissa Lucio’s First Subsequent Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/2paxuabx

We are grateful to everyone who contacted the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Abbott, signed the Innocence Project petition, shared information about Melissa’s case with your networks, or otherwise took action to #SaveMelissaLucio. We also want to express our appreciation to her legal team and everyone who supported them in the effort to stop this execution. We will continue to monitor her case for new developments and share updates with you. 

What is Clemency?

In order for the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider clemency for a person facing imminent execution, an application for clemency must be filed. The Governor of Texas has the authority to issue a one-time 30-day reprieve but can grant clemency only upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. A recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles is not binding, however.

In this comprehensive and illuminating article, Brant Bingamon of the Austin Chronicle takes a deep dive into the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, “regarded as the most secretive agency in state government.”

Since 1976, the Board of Pardons and Paroles has recommended clemency in only five cases where the inmate faced imminent execution. Then-Governor Rick Perry rejected two of those recommendations and allowed the executions to proceed.

  • Henry Lee Lucas – Governor George W. Bush commuted his sentence in 1998 due to lingering concerns about his guilt. Lucas died of natural causes in prison in 2001 while serving a life sentence.
  • Kelsey Patterson –  The Board voted 5-1 for clemency but Governor Rick Perry rejected the recommendation.  Patterson had a long-standing diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. He was executed on May 18, 2004.
  • Kenneth Foster – Governor Perry commuted Foster’s sentence in 2007 due to concern about a Texas law that allowed capital murder defendants to be tried simultaneously. The Board recommended clemency by a vote of of 6-1. Foster had been convicted under the law of parties for a 1996 murder, even though he was sitting in a car 80 feet away at the time of the crime. He is serving a life sentence.
  • Robert Lee Thompson – Governor Perry rejected the Board’s 5-2 recommendation for clemency even though Thompson was not the triggerman in the murder of Mansoor Rahim. He had been convicted under the law of parties. His co-defendant, Sammy Butler, the actual killer of Mr. Rahim, was tried separately and convicted on a lesser charge. Butler is serving a life sentence and will be eligible for parole. Thompson was executed on November 19, 2009.
  • Thomas “Bart” Whitaker – On February 22, 2018, Governor Greg Abbott accepted the Board’s unanimous recommendation of clemency for Whitaker, who was scheduled to be executed that same day.  It was the first such commutation in Texas since 2007.  Whitaker is now serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. Read the Governor’s statement here.

Write the Governor of Texas and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

You are welcome to contact the Board and Governor even when there is no specific clemency campaign. Please note that clemency applications typically are filed 21 days before the execution date, so it is best to send a letter of support around that time. Include the TDCJ #, date of birth, and full name of the person on whose behalf you are writing.

The Board usually informs attorneys of its decision two business days before the execution date.

Here are some general talking points for your letters:

  • State your concerns about the inherent flaws and failures of the Texas death penalty system.
  • Express outrage and alarm at the high number of executions that continue to take place in Texas.
  • Urge the Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend clemency.

Contact information for calls, letters, and emails*

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
Clemency Section
8610 Shoal Creek Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78757
Phone (512) 406-5852
Fax (512) 467-0945
Online Contact: bpp_clemency@tdcj.texas.gov

Current Members:
Chair: David Gutierrez
Elodia Brito
Carmella Jones
Brian Long
Marsha Moberley
Linda Molina
Ed Robertson

*Letters and emails are preferred by the Board.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Information and Referral Hotline: (800) 843-5789 [for Texas callers]
Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline: (512) 463-1782 [for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers]
Office of the Governor Main Switchboard: 512-463-2000

Online Contact: https://gov.texas.gov/contact/

The governor can grant clemency only upon the written recommendation of a majority of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, whose members he appoints.  He has the limited authority to grant a one-time, 30-day stay of execution.

Execution Watch

“Execution Watch” can be heard on KPFT HD-2 and online here from 6:00 PM CT to 7:00 PM CT on any day an execution is scheduled in Texas.