Monday, February 23, 2009

ACTION: Texas, New Mexico

Some of this may repeat earlier items - yet better a little more than we concerned with abolition of the death penalty may need rather than a little less...

Below you will find two actions that need your immediate attention. The first is a clemency appeal for Texas death row inmate Willie Pondexter, who is scheduled to be executed on March 3, 2009. The second is a request for help from our colleagues in New Mexico , targeting Governor Bill Richardson and urging his support for the repeal of the death penalty.

Please contact the TCADP Office at 512-441-1808 or if you have questions about either of these actions. Thank you for your support.

Urge Clemency for Willie Pondexter

Willie Pondexter is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on March 3, 2009. A clemency petition has been filed with the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Mr. Pondexter has repeatedly expressed remorse for the 1993 crime in which he took part. During the course of more than 14 years on death row, he has been a helpful, respectful inmate with no disciplinary problems. At least one TDCJ guard has stepped forward to support clemency.

Below is a sample clemency letter to the Board that you could use as the basis for your own appeals; another sample is available here (link to clemency page). If you are able, please FAX your letters to the Board so that they arrive in time: (512) 467-0945. For more information about Mr. Pondexter, including the motion for his stay of execution, please go to here
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Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

General Counsel's Office
8610 Shoal Creek Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78758

Dear Board Members:

I urge you to recommend to Governor Rick Perry that the death sentence of Willie Pondexter be commuted to life in prison. Mr. Pondexter is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on March 3, 2009 for the 1993 burglary and murder of Martha Lennox. He was 19 years old at the time of the crime and had no previous prison record.

Every human being is capable of change and improvement. Mr. Pondexter has demonstrated remorse for his crime. In prison, on death row, he has worked daily to be a good and respectful man. The way he has lived his life for the past 14-plus years should be taken into account in your consideration of clemency.

Under Texas law, only those who represent a future danger to our society can be sentenced to death. Mr. Pondexter has shown that he does not fit that category.

You have a responsibility to show mercy on those deserving of it. When you do, it sends a powerful message to those in prison today that personal conduct matters. I urge you to recommend clemency in his case.


Send a Postcard to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson

This is an exciting time for our movement, and today we have a great opportunity to weigh in on what could be the next U.S. state to abandon the death penalty. The New Mexico legislative session ends on March 20, so between now and then, the Catastrophic Crime and Family Restitution Program, which includes repeal of the death penalty, must pass two committees in the NM Senate and then the full Senate. The real hurdle, however, is Governor Bill Richardson. Please see below for an action YOU can take today to help end the death penalty in New Mexico !

Dear NM Repeal Members and Supporters,

Last week, Governor Bill Richardson suggested in comments to the media that he has "softened" his views on the death penalty, deliberately "sending a signal" to the NM Senate that it should take a vote on the groundbreaking package of legislation to repeal the death penalty and enhance support for murder victim's families in New Mexico. Read these statements at here

Please take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to thank Governor Richardson for openly reconsidering his position on the death penalty, and urge him to support HB 285 to repeal the death penalty and HB 211 and HB 284 to enhance support for murder victim families in our state. A short, handwritten note or postcard sent via mail is the single most important action you can take. You can also call, fax and e-mail, but please send your short note in the mail first.

Contact NM Governor Bill Richardson at:

Office of the Governor

490 Old Santa Fe Trail

Room 400

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Fax: (505)827-3026


Thank you for taking this action. If you have any questions or I can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Viki Elkey, Executive Director

New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty


Main Message: Please thank Governor Richardson for reconsidering his position on the death penalty and encourage him to support HB 285 to abolish the death penalty in New Mexico . Also ask him to support HB 211, which allows for paid or unpaid leave for family members to attend court proceedings, and HB 284, which expands services to murder victim family members in New Mexico .

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