• Exonerees leading the annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

8882a6ae-5571-4464-bb69-29248b80c5d2We just received some pictures of Alfred Dewayne Brown back at home. He is happy to be back together with his family and able to smell the fresh air every day. In addition to learning how touch screen cell phones work, he enjoys feeding the horses everyday, one of the activities he longed to do while locked up in solitary confinement on Texas death row for ten years.

DewayneHorse

DewayneHorse3

We are less than $1200 short of our goal of raising $5000 for Dewayne, who walked free June 8, 2015 for the first time after more than ten years in solitary confinement on Texas death row for a crime he did not commit.

We need to ask you to help us reach the goal by sending the link to the fundraising page to your friends with a personal request for them to help Dewayne.

Ask your friends how they would deal with freedom after ten years on death row. They would certainly worry about having enough for food, clothes and other basic necessities. Please send the link to 3 or 4 friends and mostly likely one of them will pitch in to help.

If you have contacts at any organizations you could also ask them to send out the link in their newsletter or email their members. You could also post the link to your Facebook and Twitter accounts!

Thank you!

http://igg.me/at/l7DwHJgB3ww

You can donate online by credit card at the link above.

If you prefer to donate by check, you can send it to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Donations are not tax-deductible.

unnamedOn June 8, 2015, Alfred Dewayne Brown walked free for the first time after more than ten years in solitary confinement on Texas death row for a crime he did not commit.

Today we reached a milestone in our collective effort to help him rebuild his life. We hit $3,585 raised and we still have about two weeks to go before the end of the fundraising campaign. We set a goal of raising $5,000 and now we know that the goal is within reach, but we need to ask you to help us reach the goal by sending the link to the fundraising page to your friends with a personal request for them to help Dewayne.

Ask your friends how they would deal with freedom after ten years on death row. They would certainly worry about having enough for food, clothes and other basic necessities. Please send the link to 3 or 4 friends and mostly likely one of them will pitch in to help.

If you have contacts at any organizations you could also ask them to send out the link in their newsletter or email their members. You could also post the link to your facebook and twitter accounts!

Thank you!

http://igg.me/at/l7DwHJgB3ww

You can donate online by credit card at the link above.

If you prefer to donate by check, you can send it to:

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Donations are not tax-deductible.

donatetodewaynebrownAfter more than ten years on Texas death row for a crime he did not commit, Alfred Dewayne Brown walked free and into the loving arms of his family and friends on June 8, 2015. “I went in an innocent man and I came out an innocent man,” said Brown. Now, he needs your help so that he can rebuild his life. Can you please help him?

Donate to Help Texas Death Row Survivor Alfred Dewayne Brown.

Together with other friends, we have created a fundraising campaign for Dewayne on Indidgogo. In 2004, we conducted a fundraising campaign for Ernest Willis when he was released from Texas death row. We raised $1,000 for Ernest. In 2010, we conducted a campaign to raise funds to help Anthony Graves. We raised $3,500 for Anthony. Now, we are setting a goal of $5,000 to raise for Alfred Dewayne Brown.

Click to donate. Everything donation gets us closer to making Dewayne’s transition from death row to freedom a little easier.

Dewayne spent 12 years, 2 months and 5 days behind bars for something he had no part in. That is 4,449 days or 106,776 hours of his life that was stolen from him. Nearly every one of those days were spent in solitary in a cell no larger that a small bathroom. Living with the fact that he could be executed any day. Torn away from his family, not being able to be a father to his daughter. For this, the State of Texas needs to compensate Dewayne. But, because of the “clever” wording in the paperwork when Devon Anderson declared that Harris County has no evidence against Dewayne, it will be an uphill battle to win compensation. A battle that will not be won any time soon.

Click to donate.

This is where the people of the world come in. Dewayne needs your help now to get on his feet. He needs to rebuild his life that Harris County and the State of Texas stripped from him. Going straight from solitary to the “free world” is no easy task. He needs time to adjust being able to make decisions on his own, at a pace that is comfortable to him. We can never give these years back to Dewayne. But, we can help him manage more comfortably. Please give what you can. Everything makes a difference.

Read more about the day Dewayne was released here.

This fundraiser is being conducted with the consent of Dewayne Brown, who will receive all funds raised, minus the 3 percent charged by the credit card processing company. We have also obtained consent from Dewayne’s legal team. While Indiegogo Life doesn’t charge a fee, payments are handled by third-party processors who charge a 3% transaction fee.

At the end of the 30 day campaign, the donations will be transferred directly from the life.indiegogo.com system to a bank account set up by Dewayne’s legal team for his exclusive benefit.

The fundraiser organizers are a group of Texas death penalty abolitionists who want to help Dewayne. Organizers include Pat Hartwell, Scott Cobb, Hooman Hedayati, Gloria Rubac, and Delia Perez Meyer, as well as the organizations Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, and others to be listed as they endorse the fundraiser.

duttonRep. Harold Dutton’s HB 1032, a bill to abolish the death penalty in Texas, is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The meeting room is E2.030. The hearing starts at 10:30 AM or upon adjournment of the Texas House of Representatives.

On the same day, the committee will also hear testimony on Dutton’s bill to ban the death penalty in law of parties cases, HB 341.

Anyone can attend the hearing and sign in to support the bills or even sign up to speak in support of the bills. You can also provide written testimony.

The order of the bills being heard is not known, so you should plan to spend time waiting in the committee room for the bills to be called up.

Rep Dutton first filed a bill to abolish the death penalty in 2003, which was the first abolition bill filed in the Texas Legislature in a long time up to that year. When no one else was willing to file a bill to abolish the death penalty, Rep Dutton stepped up in 2003 and filed an abolition bill. Everyone opposed to the death penalty should thank Rep Dutton for his leading role in the effort in the Texas Legislature to end the death penalty.

Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr

Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr

Senator Eddie Lucio has filed legislation to abolish the death penalty. This is the first time a senator has ever filed legislation to completely abolish the death penalty in Texas. On the recent Statewide Texas Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty on March 3, death row exonerees Ron Keine and Sabrina Butler from Witness to Innocence and Scott Cobb of Texas Moratorium Network met with his aide and spoke to him about filing an abolition bill. Thank you to all the groups and people from across Texas who organized and participated in the lobby day, including Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Campaign to End the Death Penalty and Students Against the Death Penalty.

(There was an abolition bill filed in the Texas Senate in 1969, but it would not have completely abolished the death penalty.)

Here are links to the two pieces of legislation filed by Senator Lucio. One is a regular bill (SB 1661) and the other is a proposed constitutional amendment (SJR 54).

Thank you to all the groups and people from across Texas who participated in our lobby day, including Texas Moratorium NetworkTexas Death Penalty Abolition MovementCampaign to End the Death PenaltyStudents Against the Death Penalty, and Witness to Innocence.

Thank you also to State Rep. Harold Dutton, who sponsored the Day of Innocence and who has filed an abolition bill in the Texas House of Representatives every session since 2003.

SJR 54
84R61 MEW-D

By: Lucio S.J.R. No. 54

A JOINT RESOLUTION
proposing a constitutional amendment abolishing the death penalty.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Article I, Texas Constitution, is amended by
adding Section 13a to read as follows:
Sec. 13a. A penalty of death shall not be imposed against
any person.
SECTION 2. Section 4(b), Article V, Texas Constitution, is
amended to read as follows:
(b) For the purpose of hearing cases, the Court of Criminal
Appeals may sit in panels of three Judges, the designation thereof
to be under rules established by the court. In a panel of three
Judges, two Judges shall constitute a quorum and the concurrence of
two Judges shall be necessary for a decision. The Presiding Judge,
under rules established by the court, shall convene the court en
banc for the transaction of all other business and may convene the
court en banc for the purpose of hearing cases. The court must sit
en banc during proceedings involving capital cases [punishment] and
other cases as required by law. When convened en banc, five Judges
shall constitute a quorum and the concurrence of five Judges shall
be necessary for a decision. The Court of Criminal Appeals may
appoint Commissioners in aid of the Court of Criminal Appeals as
provided by law.
SECTION 3. Section 5(b), Article V, Texas Constitution, is
amended to read as follows:
(b) [The appeal of all cases in which the death penalty has
been assessed shall be to the Court of Criminal Appeals.] The
appeal of all [other] criminal cases shall be to the Courts of
Appeal as prescribed by law. In addition, the Court of Criminal
Appeals may, on its own motion, review a decision of a Court of
Appeals in a criminal case as provided by law. Discretionary review
by the Court of Criminal Appeals is not a matter of right, but of
sound judicial discretion.
SECTION 4. This proposed constitutional amendment shall be
submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 3, 2015.
The ballot shall be printed to provide for voting for or against the
proposition: “The constitutional amendment abolishing the death
penalty.”

SB 1661

Exonerees Ron Keine, Sabrina Butler and Mark Clements.

Exonerees Ron Keine, Sabrina Butler and Mark Clements.

duttonRep. Harold Dutton of Houston today filed HB 1032, a bill to abolish the death penalty in Texas.

Rep Dutton first filed a bill to abolish the death penalty in 2003, which was the first abolition bill filed in the Texas Legislature in a long time up to that year. When no one else was willing to file a bill to abolish the death penalty, Rep Dutton stepped up in 2003 and filed an abolition bill. Everyone opposed to the death penalty should thank Rep Dutton for his leading role in the effort in the Texas Legislature to end the death penalty.

It was an exciting day back in 2003 when Dutton’s abolition bill was heard in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. That was the first time an abolition bill was heard in a Texas legislative Committee in the modern era, and maybe ever.

Rep Harold Dutton is pictured speaking at a Day of Innocence rally to Repeal the Death Penalty.

Below Rep Dutton speaks at the 2011 Day of Innocence. Behind him are six death row exonerees who spent years on death row for crimes they did not commit.


 

 

Scheduled Executions in Texas

Texas has passed 500 executions in the modern era since the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty was constitutional. Texas conducted its first execution after the ruling in 1982.

To express your opposition to any execution, you can contact the Governor’s office at 512 463 2000. If you call after business hours, you can leave a voice mail message. During business hours, someone should answer the phone.

Richard Vasquez’s January 15, 2015 date was STAYED on Jan 5 and reset for April 23.

519) Arnold Prieto, January 21, 2015   (First Execution Under Gov. Abbott)

520) Garcia White, January 28 ,2015

521) Robert Ladd, January 29, 2015

522) Donald Newbury, February 4, 2015

523) Lester Bower, Jr, February 10, 2015

524) Rodney Reed, March 5, 2015

525) Manuel Vasquez, March 11, 2015

526) Randall Mays, March 18, 2015

527) Kent Sprouse, April 9, 2015

528) Manuel Garza, April 15, 2015

529) Richard Vasquez, April 23, 2015

530) Robert Pruett, April 28, 2015

531) Charles Derrick, May 12, 2015

Scott Panetti is a severely mentally ill man who has suffered from schizophrenia for more than 30 years. He is scheduled for execution in Texas just weeks from today, on December 3rd. This is the enduring image of Mr. Panetti is from his capital trial, at which he was permitted to represent himself despite his obvious mental illness: dressed in cowboy costume with a purple bandana and attempting to call over 200 witnesses to the stand, including the Pope, Jesus Christ and JFK. Mr. Panetti’s mental illness is extreme by any standard; the infographic below shows his history, which includes over a dozen hospitalizations for mental illness which predate the offense for which he was convicted and sentenced to death. Today, Mr. Panetti’s attorneys filed a clemency petition with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Rick Perry asking them to commute Mr. Panetti’s sentence to life in prison. Dozens of mental health organizations and experts, former prosecutors, evangelicals, the American Bar Association, and others are also expressing support for clemency in the case. (More here.) Additionally, Mr. Panetti’s sister launched a Change.org petition for people to join the call for justice in her brother’s case. Background on the case, including a video, can be found at http://texasdefender.org/scott-panetti/. 2a64902203c12cf3d8937bcc3b4fded425c20e85_original

This video was taken Nov 2, 2013 at the 14th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty. Where will you be on Saturday October 25, 2014? Why not come to Houston that day for the 15th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty. That’s right. Texans opposed to the death penalty, and our friends from around the U.S. and from other countries are converging on Houston this year. M.E.C.A., 1900 Kane in Houston’s 6th Ward is the location.Here are exonerated death row survivors Ron Keine, Shujaa Graham and Albert Burell of Witness to Innocence, at the 14th annual march in 2013. Don’t miss this year’s march in Houston for more great speakers!

Texas executed 16 people in 2013, one more person than in 2012. 69 percent of the people Texas executed in 2013 were people of color, eight African-Americans and three Hispanics. There were five white people executed by Texas in 2013.

Two people were executed from Dallas County, two from Harris County, two from Hidalgo County, two from Lubbock County, one from Leon County, one from Brazos County, one from Victoria County, one from McLennan County, one from Jefferson County, one from Cherokee County, one from Navarro County and one from Smith County.

Since December 7, 1982, the state of Texas has executed 508 people. There have been 269 executions in Texas since Rick Perry took office in December 2000.

The highest number of executions in one year in Texas was 40 in 2000.

So far, 9 people have been sentenced to death in 2013 in Texas. New death sentences have declined from their high in the late 90s. In 1999, there were 48 people sentenced to death.

88.8 percent of the nine new death sentences handed out in 2013 in Texas have been given to people of color. Of the nine people sentenced to death so far in Texas in 2013, seven are African-American, one is Hispanic and one white.

New death sentences came from Dallas County with three, Harris, Hays, Hunt, Jefferson, Brazoria, and McLennan Counties all had one new death sentence.

The number of new death sentences has declined over the last several years in large part because people who serve on juries are increasingly choosing life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty because members of juries have read about so many mistakes in the system when innocent people have been convicted only to be exonerated years later.