Tuesday, June 02, 2009

STORY TIP & PRESS CONTACTS HERE: Number 200 to be executed under Perry! /AMNESTY Release

SEE UPDATE - Amnesty Report - in COMMENTS

PRESS CONTACTS HERE: Number 200 to be executed under Perry! /AMNESTY Release

Of Special PRESS interest (please distribute this information widely to select newspapers and contacts!)

In Dallas, members of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) will gather TODAY June 2, 2009 at 10:00 AM in front of the Frank Crowley Courts Building, 133 North Industrial Blvd. 75207 for a press conference about the 200th execution during the Perry Administration. Speakers include: Stanley Allridge, whose brother James Allridge III was executed in 2004; Reverend Carroll Pickett, the former death house chaplain at the Walls Unit in Huntsville who accompanied 95 men to their executions; and Dr. Rick Halperin, the Director of the SMU Human Rights Education Program and TCADP Board member. Contact Rick Halperin for more information at 214-768-3284. Also for Amnesty, Contact: Wende Gozan at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org, or Brian Evans at 202-544-0200 x496, bevans@aiusa.org.

Michael Landauer/Editor Dallas News

The Texas Moratorium Network is protesting a milestone execution today, as Diane Jennings has reported over on the crime blog. But that sheer number just amazes me. Think of the context of that.

Texas has executed 438 people since reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. On Rick Perry's watch alone, Texas has executed more people than the next three states combined since 1976.

Some more context: Before 1995, Texas killed 104 people. What happened in 1995? That's when the Court of Criminal Appeals went Republican, electing judges (including Sharon Keller) who promised to be pro-prosecutor and tough on crime. It has only been 27 years since the machinery of the Texas Death Row was restarted. For the first 18 years, we executed 238 people, or roughly 13 a year. SInce Perry has been in office, we're killing about 22 a year.

Comments
Posted by Kristin @ 2:37 PM Mon, Jun 01, 2009

Thanks, Michael, for this post. More facts and figures related to the 200th execution are available at here

In Dallas, members of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) will gather on June 2, 2009 at 10:00 AM in front of the Frank Crowley Courts Building, 133 North Industrial Blvd. 75207 for a press conference about the 200th execution during the Perry Administration. Speakers include: Stanley Allridge, whose brother James Allridge III was executed in 2004; Reverend Carroll Pickett, the former death house chaplain at the Walls Unit in Huntsville who accompanied 95 men to their executions; and Dr. Rick Halperin, the Director of the SMU Human Rights Education Program and TCADP Board member. Contact Rick Halperin for more information at 214-768-3284. Also for Amnesty, Contact: Wende Gozan at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org, or Brian Evans at 202-544-0200 x496, bevans@aiusa.org.
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Amnesty International USA Press Statement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, May 29, 2009
AS 200TH EXECUTION NEARS UNDER TEXAS GOVERNOR PERRY, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL DECRIES 'SHAMEFUL MILESTONE'

Largest Number of Executions Under One Governor in Modern Times -- Despite Racial Disparities, Inadequate Counsel, Possibility of Innocent Being Put to Death

Contact: Wende Gozan at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org, or Brian Evans at 202-544-0200 x496, bevans@aiusa.org.

(Washington D.C.) – As Texas approaches its 200th execution under Governor Rick Perry, currently scheduled for June 2, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox issued the following statement:

“This is a shameful milestone, one that proves Texas is more concerned with maintaining its rogue image than ensuring equality under the law. Two hundred executions – the largest under one governor in modern U.S. history – will have taken place in a system that is rife with error and is strongly believed to have put innocent people to death. Instead of slowing down its frantic pace, Texas continues to play Russian roulette with people’s lives, pursuing a path that is as shocking as it is unacceptable.

"Amnesty International’s recent report, Too Much Cruelty, Too Little Clemency, is a clear indicator of just how flawed Texas justice is. A number of executions that took place under Perry's governorship would now be considered illegal in the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Texas capital punishment system remains rigged from start to finish. From inadequate representation at trial to an appellate system that fast-tracks executions to a clemency process that might as well not exist, the Texas death penalty is built for speed, not accuracy or justice.

"By saying Texas 'by and large gets it right,' Gov. Perry proves that he is out of touch with the realities of capital punishment. His reported threat to gut a provision that would have limited executions to those who actually pull the trigger is the latest in a long line of missed opportunities to chart a new course. While his neighbor to the West has shown such leadership, Perry remains an anachronism stuck in the ‘90s, oblivious to the failings of the system that everyone else, including many Texans, seems to recognize."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries who campaign for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

# # #

Make a difference!
» Prevent Execution of Juvenile Offender in Iran (UA 71/08)
» Protect Seven Iranians From Being Stoned to Death (UA 50/09)
» Stop Execution of Mehdi Mazroui in Iran (UA 136/09)

For more from AMNESTY, GO here

PLEASE GO TO COMMENT 2-3 for recent AMNESTY REPORT

2 comments:

Connie L. Nash said...

TEXAS UPDATE

The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, NCADP's TX affiliate, issued a press release and an organizing kit yesterday to emphasize how much the death penalty has changed in that state and in the United States in the past seven years. Tonight's execution of Terry Hankins in revenge for his murders of Kevin Galley, Ashley Mason and Tammy Hankins will be the 200th execution under Governor Perry, and TCADP is using this unfortunate milestone to raise awareness about positive changes and ways Texas abolitionists can do more to hasten the end of all executions in that state. Read more about it at TCADP.org.


TROY DAVIS UPDATE

We have learned that the U.S. Supreme Court will "conference" on Troy Davis' most recent appeal on June 25th. NCADP will alert you on the outcome of that decision and next steps just as soon as possible. Meanwhile, our friends at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have jumped into this case with both feet. NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Jealous met with Troy last week. The NAACP has posted an action on the case and issued a statement - check them out here: http://www.naacp.org/


UPCOMING EVENTS

The National Coalition has a calendar section on its web page, and we invite you to let us know what's happening in your area with regard to the death penalty so that we can help get the word out. One upcoming event that you might find of interest is the upcoming 16th Annual Fast & Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty at the U.S. Supreme Court. Learn more about it here: http://www.ncadp.org/calendar.cfm


And finally, NCADP is proud to be making an impact online!

Click Here to read articles by NCADP Executive Director Diann Rust-Tierney.

Visit our blog at http://ncadp.org/blog.cfm to read the latest death penalty news!

Click here to join NCADP on Facebook

Go to http://twitter.com/ncadp to sign up for Twitter updates from NCADP


Yours in the Struggle,

--abe

Abraham J. Bonowitz
Director of Affiliate Support
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
1705 DeSales St., NW Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20036
http://www.NCADP.org
abe@ncadp.org

Connie L. Nash said...

Amnesty International Press release
3 June 2009

Texas carried out its 200th execution under the eight-and-a-half year governorship of Richard Perry on Tuesday. Terry Lee Hankins, 34, was executed by lethal injection shortly after 6pm Texas time. He had been sentenced to death in 2002 for the murder of two of his wife’s children in 2001.

Terry Hankins was the 16th person to be executed in Texas this year, out of a national total of 30. This was the 1,166th execution to be carried out in the USA since judicial killing resumed there in 1977, with Texas accounting for 439 of them. Another five men are currently scheduled to be put to death in Texas by mid-September.

Richard Perry was sworn in as Governor of Texas on 21 December 2000, following the election of the previous governor, George W Bush, to the office of US President.

There were 152 executions in Texas during nearly six years of the Bush governorship (1995-2000). The combined total of more than 350 executions in Texas under these two governors represents 30 per cent of the national total since 1977.

Virginia is ranked second to Texas in executions. In 30 years, Virginia has killed 103 people in its death chamber, half the number put to death in Texas in eight years.

Texas is home to about seven per cent of the population of the USA and is where fewer than 10 per cent of the country's murders occur. The state accounts for 37 per cent of the USA's executions since 1977, and 41 per cent since 2001.

An Amnesty International report looks back at a few of the cases of prisoners executed in Texas during Governor Perry’s term in office, and forward to a few cases that may yet come across his desk.

Published on 30 April, USA: Too much cruelty, too little clemency: Texas nears 200th execution under current governor considers a number of issues and places them in the context of an executive clemency system in Texas which is far from the "failsafe" against injustice it purports to be.

Among other issues, the report details the state's use of the death penalty against young offenders and the execution of condemned inmates suffering from serious mental illness.

Amnesty International has urged Governor Perry to speak out for an end to this cruel and unnecessary punishment. The organization has called on the Governor to work with the state legislature to abolish the death penalty in Texas. Meanwhile, the organization says that he and the parole board should do all in their power to prevent further executions in Texas.
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HREA - www.hrea.org

Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) is an international non-governmental organisation that supports human rights learning; the training of activists and professionals; the development of educational materials and programming; and community-building through on-line technologies.