On Saturday, April 16th at 9pm Central, CBS “48 Hours” will air a special on Anthony Graves, the most recent death row exoneree from Texas. Anthony was wrongfully convicted of murdering Bobbie Davis, her daughter and her four grandchildren in Somerville, Texas, in 1992. After spending 18 years in prison, 12 of which were on death row, Anthony was found to be innocent by the Burleson County District Attorney and released from custody in October of 2010. Learn more about the background of his case.
Updates on the 82nd Texas Legislature
On March 29, 2011, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee heard more than 1.5 hours of compelling testimony in support of House Bill 819, which calls for repeal of the death penalty in Texas. Murder victim family members, religious leaders, and academics joined TCADP Board President Bob Van Steenburg in advocating for the bill, which has been left pending in committee.
On March 30, 2011, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 377 by a vote of 28 to 2. This legislation expands the scope of the death penalty by making the murder of a child who is less than 10 years of age a capital offense. Senators Rodney Ellis of Houston and José Rodríguez of El Paso voted no; Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio voted “present-not voting” and provided a reason for her vote. The bill now moves over to the House of Representatives, where it has been referred to the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. TCADP will provide an alert and action request if/when the bill is scheduled for a hearing (the bill number in the House is HB 1065).
April 5 Cleve Foster
May 3 Cary Kerr
June 1 Gayland Bradford
June 16 Taylor Lee
Execution Vigils: http://www.tcadp.org under “Get Involved – Stop Executions”
New Death Penalty Resources
New Book – God’s Feet are in My Sandbox: Faith Chronicles of a Texas Death Row Chaplain is the concise memoir of Rev. Rick Anderson, a United Methodist pastor, who details very passionately God‟s presence in his life and the faithful response he offers. Readers will journey with Rick through love and loss, uncertainty and fear, the value of forgiveness, and, at the heart of it, great trust in God‟s care and attention. Rick shares several experiences from his work as a death row chaplain at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, giving readers an inside view of the unit from his position. Please note: the TDCJ Chaplaincy program is being targeted by current legislative budget cuts. The book is available through Barnes and Noble online.
New PDF Profiles – Murder Victims‟ Families For Reconciliation—Voices of Texas share the stories of murder victim family members who oppose the death penalty. A copy of each story was provided to Texas Representatives during the TCADP Lobby Day. The PDFs (in English and Spanish) are available for download on the TCADP website under the resource section on the Victims Outreach page. http://tcadp.org/what-we-do/victims-outreach/. Storytellers include: Steve Bishop, Chris Castillo, Helene Burns, Jan Brown, Joanna Rankin, Joy Strickland, Linda White, Ron Carlson and Elizabeth Stein.
2011 TCADP Chapter Volunteer Recognition
During the 2011 TCADP Annual Conference, Anne Mund was given special recognition as a volunteer in the Austin chapter. She has been a tireless worker for the chapter for the past four years and for the state organization.
Anne has organized the chapter’s quarterly meetings, including locating a venue for the meetings. Anne supports all of the chapter’s events and is a person who can be counted on. Her energy, enthusiasm and dependability reflect most favorably upon her and upon the organization. Congratulations, Anne.