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.

Just Mercy – Book Studies

Just Mercy – Book Studies
justmercyA book study of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson will be offered this fall with multiple meeting options in Austin. This book is a powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice.

“Just Mercy” was named by TIME magazine as one of the “10 Best Books of Nonfiction” for 2014, a Notable Book of 2014 by the New York Times, and it won the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, among many other awards. It is on this year’s reading list for United Methodist Women. Just Mercy is available on Amazon for participants to purchase. If you want a preview, check out Bryan Stevenson’s TED Talk here.

 

One Book, Multiple Meeting Options

Sundays, September 11, 18, 25
6:00-7:00 p.m.
First United Methodist Church
Led by Pastor Cathy Stone
Sign up by emailing cathy@fumcaustin.org.

Tuesdays, September 6, 13, 20
7:00-8:00 p.m.
Parker Lane UMC, 2105 Parker Ln
Led by Pastor Sharon Stewart

Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21, 
10:00-11:00 a .m.
Crestview UMC, 1300 Morrow St
Led by Pastor Linda Elford and Mari Wylie
Sign up by emailing office@crestviewmethodist.org.

7:00-8:00 p.m.
Genuine Joe’s, 2001 W Anderson Ln
Led by Pastor Linda Elford and Mari Wylie
Sign up by emailing office@crestviewmethodist.org.

Tuesday, September 27
7:00 p.m.
Free, public lecture by Bryan Stevenson at the LBJ Auditorium
For more details, visit http://ssw.edu/event/blandy2016/

October
Mondays, October 3, 17, 24
7:00-8:00 p.m.
Tarrytown UMC, 2601 Exposition Blvd
Led by Pastor Cathy Stone and Rachel Wright
Sign up by emailing rwright@tumc.church .

 

Shane Claiborne at UUMC – September 29

shaneclaiborneUniversity UMC Austin is proud to host Shane Claiborne for a lecture and book signing on Thursday, September 29 beginning at 7 pm. Shane is an activist, organizer, speaker and author of several books, including a brand new one on capital punishment, “Executing Grace – How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us.”

You can find out more about Shane right here.

News From TCADP

 tcadpAugust 19 -The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has issued an order staying the execution of Jeff Wood and remanding his case to the trial court for consideration on his claims related to false testimony presented during the sentencing phase of his original trial.  Wood was scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on August 24, 2016 even though he did not kill anyone.

August 26 -The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has stayed the execution of Rolando Ruiz, who was scheduled to be executed on August 31st. His appeal questioned the deficiency of his trial counsel and his initial habeas counsel. The appeal also questioned the constitutionality of executing him after more than 20 years after his conviction.

News From TCADP

From the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty:

The State of Texas is scheduled to carry out one execution this month.  On June 21, Robert Roberson is scheduled to be put to death.

On Friday, May 27, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) granted a stay of execution to Charles Flores, who was scheduled to be put to death on June 2.

The State of Texas has put six people to death in 2016.  There have been 14 executions nationwide.  At this time, there are seven additional executions scheduled to take place in Texas through October 2016.

More information here.

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Georgetown: The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University presents Dead Man Walking, a play by Tim Robbins based on the best-selling memoir by Sister Helen Prejean.  Performances will take place April 15-17th and 21-24th, 2016 in the Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Theater (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances begin at 7:30PM and Sunday performances begin at 3:00PM).

A panel discussion/talkback will take place on Sunday, April 17th at 5:30 PM following the matinee performance.  Panelists include TCADP Executive Director Kristin Houlé, Bishop Joe A. Wilson, Retired, United Methodist Church, and former Nueces County District Attorney Grant Jones.  Purchase performance tickets here.

Austin: TCADP will hold a member luncheon on Tuesday, April 26th at noon at The Egg & I Restaurant (Northcross, 2525 W. Anderson Ln., Austin, 78757). More details coming soon.  All are welcome!

Houston: The Houston Chapter of TCADP will meet Tuesday, May 3rd at 7:00PM at the Central Market Community Room (3816 Westheimer @ Weslayan). This meeting will feature a special presentation by Kathryn Kase, the Executive Director of Texas Defender Service.  For more information, please click here

Sister Helen Prejean at Southwestern University

sister helen prejeanThe Roy and Margaret Shilling Lecture Series is pleased to welcome Sister Helen Prejean to campus on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. The title of the lecture is “Dead Man Walking—The Journey Continues.”

Sister Helen Prejean has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church’s newly vigorous opposition to state executions.  She travels around the world giving talks about her ministry.  She considers herself a southern storyteller.

Tickets to the Shilling Lecture are free and open to the public. They will be available through the Wm. Chris & Tina M. Mathers Box Office at 512-863-1378. (Priority will be given to students, faculty, staff and friends of Southwestern. Available on a first come, first served basis.)   Ticket pick-up starts at 5 p.m. on the day of the event at the Alma Thomas Fine Arts Center Jim and Pat Walzel Lobby. Doors open for seating at 6 p.m.

Sister Helen’s books Dead Man Walking and Death of Innocents will be on sale before and after the lecture. She will be available to autograph copies after the lecture. All proceeds benefit her Ministry Against the Death Penalty.

More information

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

tcadpScheduled executions

The State of Texas is scheduled to execute three people this month:

  • On March 9, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute Coy Wesbrook for the murders of his ex-wife, Gloria Coons, and Antonio Cruz in 1997 in Channelview (Harris County). In 2012, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a Harris County criminal court to re-evaluate Wesbrook’s intellectual competence to face execution.
  • The State of Texas is scheduled to execute Adam Ward on March 22 for killing Commerce Code Enforcement Officer Michael “Pee Wee” Walker in 2005 in Hunt County.  Ward was 22 years old at the time of the crime.
  • On March 30, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute John Battaglia for the 2001 murders of his two daughters, Faith and Liberty, ages 9 and 6, in Dallas County. Battaglia is now 60 years old.

At this time, there are seven additional executions scheduled to take place in Texas through July 2016.

Attend a vigil in your community on the day of executions. Note the new vigil location in Waco. Information and updates on these cases will be available on our website and through Facebook and Twitter.

http://tcadp.org/

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

antony_gravesA Conversation from the Heart: An Evening with Anthony Graves” will take place at The Health Museum (1515 Hermann Dr.) in Houston’s Museum District on Friday, February 19, 2016.  The event will feature an exclusive screening of “Graves Injustice: A One Man Stage Narrative,” which tells the story of Anthony Graves.  Mr. Graves spent 18 years in prison, including 12 years on Texas’ death row, and faced 2 execution dates as an innocent man.  Since his exoneration in October 2010, he has served as a powerful advocate for criminal justice reform. This event is sponsored by TCADP; Anthony Believes; Pete and Lyn Mefford; and The Health Museum.  Proceeds benefit TCADP and Anthony Believes. Seats are limited, so purchase your ticket today!

Annual Conference: TCADP will once again meet as an annual conference, this time at Unity of Houston on Saturday, February 20, 2016. The committee has planned an excellent conference with a tremendous array of presenters, workshop leaders and award recipients. For more information, please visit our conference page.

TCADP Annual Conference in Houston

tcadpThe Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will once again meet as an annual conference, this time at Unity of Houston on Saturday, February 20, 2016. The committee has planned an excellent conference with a tremendous array of presenters, workshop leaders and award recipients.

The theme of our 2016 Annual Conference, At the Epicenter of the Death Penalty, reflects the important role Texas plays in national movement away from the death penalty. It also reflects both past and present use of the death penalty in Harris County, which alone accounts for nearly 300 death sentences and more executions than any state in the country, besides Texas. Yet even in Harris County, the death penalty landscape is shifting and use is declining.

Online registration for the TCADP 2016 Annual Conference: At the Epicenter of the Death Penalty is now open! You can also mail in your registration using this formKeynote Speaker: Sen. Colby Coash

You can also use this form to purchase an ad in the conference program, secure a spot as a vendor, or help us underwrite the conference as a sponsor. Contact us at 512-441-1808 or khoule@tcadp.org if you have any problems or questions related to this form.