October 2017 Rio Texas MFSA newsletter

Please find the October 2017 Rio Texas MFSA newsletter here: 2017 Oct

 

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Scheduled Executions
The State of Texas is scheduled to execute two individuals this month:

  • On May 16, Tilon Carteris scheduled to be executed for the robbery and murder of 89-year-old James Eldon Tomlin in April 2004 in Fort Worth. Following Carter’s sentencing in 2006, his appeals focused on the deficiency of his trial lawyers, as well as faulty jury instructions.  The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider his appeals last year.

    Carter was originally scheduled to be executed on February 7, 2017, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted him a stay after the trial court missed the deadline to notify the Office of Capital and Forensic Writs of the execution date. If it proceeds, Carter’s execution would be the third out of Tarrant County this year. Tarrant County accounts for 40 executions since 1982.

  • On May 24, Juan Castillo is scheduled to be put to death for the robbery and murder of 19-year-old Tommy Garcia, Jr. in December 2003 in San Antonio. During the punishment phase of his trial, Castillo fired his attorneys and represented himself; he made no final argument to the jury. In 2007, Castillo tried to appeal his sentence based on insufficient evidence, faulty testimony, and the unconstitutionality of the death penalty. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected his claims. The S. Supreme Court rejected similar appeals in October 2016.

    If it proceeds, Castillo’s execution would be the second out of Bexar County this year; there is one other individual convicted in Bexar County scheduled to be put to death. Bexar County accounts for 43 executions since 1982.

Texas accounts for four out of the ten executions nationwide thus far in 2017.  At this time, there are three additional executions scheduled in Texas through July.

Attend a vigil in your community on the day of executions. Information and updates on cases are available on our website and through Facebook and Twitter.

See more from TCADP.

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

SCOTUS Rules Duane Buck Entitled to New Sentencing Hearing in Texas Racial Bias Death Penalty Case

(Washington, D.C., February 22, 2017) Today, in a 6-2 decision in Buck v. Davis, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Texas death row prisoner Duane Buck, who was sentenced to death after a Houston jury heard false and unconstitutional testimony from a defense “expert” that Mr. Buck was more likely to be a future danger because he is Black. Today’s ruling means Mr. Buck will either be resentenced to life imprisonment, or receive a new sentencing hearing untainted by racial bias.

See more.

March 28: Join TCADP and Texas Impact at the State Capitol in Austin for our second Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty.  Together, we will make sure legislators hear the loud and growing chorus of voices in opposition to the death penalty. Register online today.

Executions Scheduled in 2017
John Ramirez – Stay granted
March 7: Rolando Ruiz
March 14: James Bigby
April 12: Paul Storey
May 16: Tilon Carter
May 24: Juan Castillo

June 28: Steven Long
July 19: Kosoul Chanthakoummane

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

TCADP 2017 Annual Conference

The TCADP 2017 Annual Conference – a must-attend event for anyone interested in ending the death penalty in Texas – will take place at St. David’s Episcopal Church in downtown Austin on Saturday, February 18, 2017.  Take advantage of pre-registration rates until February 8, 2017.

If you can’t join us for the full day, consider purchasing a ticket for our awards luncheon and keynote address by Brian Stolarz. Stolarz served as habeas corpus counsel to Alfred Dewayne Brown, who was exonerated in June 2015 after spending 10 years on Texas’ death row. Stolarz’s book about his relationship with Brown, Grace and Justice on Death Row: The Race Against Time and Texas to Free an Innocent Man, is a Washington Post best-seller.  Brown is the recipient of our 2017 Courage Award.

Here’s a preview of some of the workshop sessions we’ll be offering during the conference:

  • The national death penalty landscape
  • An in-depth look at wrongful convictions
  • Mobilizing networks to create change
  • Legislative advocacy
  • The intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system

 Online registration is now open!  Take advantage of pre-registration rates between now and February 8, 2017.

Sponsorshipvendor opportunities and program advertisements are also available. Click here for the conference flyer.

Executions Scheduled in 2017
February 2: John Ramirez
February 7: Tilon Carter
March 7: Rolando Ruiz
March 14: James Bigby
April 12: Paul Storey
June 28: Steven Long
July 19: Kosoul Chanthakoummane

March 28: Join TCADP and Texas Impact at the State Capitol in Austin for our second Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty.  Together, we will make sure legislators hear the loud and growing chorus of voices in opposition to the death penalty. Register online today.

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

TCADP 2017 Annual Conference

tcadpThe TCADP 2017 Annual Conference – a must-attend event for anyone interested in ending the death penalty in Texas – will take place at St. David’s Episcopal Church in downtown Austin on Saturday, February 18, 2017.  Take advantage of pre-registration rates until February 8, 2017.

If you can’t join us for the full day, consider purchasing a ticket for our awards luncheon and keynote address by Brian Stolarz. Stolarz served as habeas corpus counsel to Alfred Dewayne Brown, who was exonerated in June 2015 after spending 10 years on Texas’ death row. Stolarz’s book about his relationship with Brown, Grace and Justice on Death Row: The Race Against Time and Texas to Free an Innocent Man, is a Washington Post best-seller.  Brown is the recipient of our 2017 Courage Award.

Here’s a preview of some of the workshop sessions we’ll be offering during the conference:

  • The national death penalty landscape
  • An in-depth look at wrongful convictions
  • Mobilizing networks to create change
  • Legislative advocacy
  • The intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system

Learn more about the conference, including details on our panelists, keynote speaker, sponsors, and award winners. Register today!

Featured events

January 10: 85th Texas Legislature convenes.  Stay tuned to TCADP for legislative updates.

January 16: TCADP will provide an information booth at the 24th Annual MLK Community Celebration in Austin at Huston-Tillotson University.  The festival will take place from 11 AM to 3 PM.  Email TCADP Communications Coordinator Vanessa Akins at Vanessa@tcadp.org if you would like to help with the booth.

January 16: TCADP members will march in the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Houston. For more information about the parade and celebration, please visit https://www.blackheritagesociety.org/.

January 24 and 25: Join the TCADP Lobby Corps as we deliver copies of the TCADP year-end report to all 180 legislative offices at the State Capitol.  A brief orientation session will take place at 9:30 AM both mornings in the Capitol Extension.  Email TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houle at khoule@tcadp.org to volunteer.

February 18: TCADP 2017 Annual Conference; St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin; 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

News From TCADP

Scheduled executions: Texas will end 2016 with fewest executions in 20 yearstcadp

Announcements: Register today for the TCADP 2017 Annual Conference; join us at the State Capitol next year for the 2017 Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty

In case you missed it: Part II of Fair Punishment Project report cites systemic problems in Dallas County; Texas Catholic Bishops issue powerful statement against the death penalty; national momentum for abolition

From the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; more here.

News From TCADP

tcadpState of Texas executes Barney Fuller

Yesterday, the State of Texas carried out its first execution in six months, putting Barney Fuller to death for the 2003 murders of his neighbors, Nathan and Annette Copeland, in Houston County. Fuller pled guilty to the crime and has waived further appeals in his case, ordering his attorneys not to file any additional legal challenges.  In June, a federal judge deemed him competent to drop his appeals. Fuller is 58 years old.

According to the Texas Tribune, Fuller’s execution will mark the first time Houston County (about 100 miles north of Houston) has put someone to death since the penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976.

According to Rob Dunham with the Death Penalty Information Center, 143 people have been executed in the United States after giving up their appeals.  This represents just under 10% of U.S. executions since 1977.  In Texas, 29 people have been executed after forfeiting their appeals.  This includes Daniel Lopez, who was put to death in August 2015 at the age of 27 after spending 5 1/2 years on death row.

The State of Texas has put six people to death in 2016. Eight individuals have received stays.

From the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; more here.