Upcoming Executions
Click for a list of upcoming scheduled executions in Texas.
Innocence
The death penalty puts innocent people at risk of execution.
Todd Willingham
Todd Willingham was wrongfully executed under Governor Rick Perry on February 17, 2004.

Executions

December 7, 1982 through October 5, 2016

Race White Black Hispanic Other TOTAL
2016 5 71% 0 0% 2 33% 0 0% 7 100%
2015 3 23% 4 31% 6 46% 0 0% 13 100%
2014 2 20% 4 40% 4 40% 0 0% 10 100%
2013 5 31% 8 50% 3 19% 0 0% 16 100%
2012 4 27% 7 47% 4 27% 0 0% 15 100%
2011 6 46.00% 3 23.00% 4 31.00% 0 0% 13 100%
2010 7 41.20% 5 29.40% 5 29.40% 0 0.00% 17 100%
2009 4 16.70% 13 54.20% 7 29.20% 0 0% 24 100%
2008 6 33.30% 9 50.00% 3 16.70% 0 0% 18 100%
2007 12 46.20% 8 30.80% 6 23.10% 0 0% 26 100%
2006 5 20.80% 14 58.30% 5 20.80% 0 0% 24 100%
2005 11 57.90% 5 26.30% 3 15.80% 0 0% 19 100%
2004 8 34.80% 12 52.20% 3 13.00% 0 0% 23 100%
2003 14 58.30% 7 29.20% 3 12.50% 0 0% 24 100%
2002 17 51.50% 11 33.30% 5 15.20% 0 0% 33 100%
2001 10 58.80% 6 35.30% 1 5.90% 0 0% 17 100%
2000 19 47.50% 16 40.00% 5 12.50% 0 0% 40 100%
1999 17 48.60% 11 31.40% 7 20.00% 0 0% 35 100%
1998 13 65.00% 2 10.00% 5 25.00% 0 0% 20 100%
1997 21 56.80% 13 35.10% 2 5.40% 1 2.70% 37 100%
1996 1 33.30% 1 33.30% 1 33.30% 0 0% 3 100%
1995 8 42.10% 8 42.10% 2 10.50% 1 5.30% 19 100%
1994 9 64.30% 4 28.60% 1 7.10% 0 0% 14 100%
1993 6 35.30% 7 41.20% 4 23.50% 0 0% 17 100%
1992 5 41.70% 5 41.70% 2 16.70% 0 0% 12 100%
1991 2 40% 2 40% 1 20% 0 0% 5 100%
1990 2 50% 2 50% 0 0% 0 0% 4 100%
1989 2 50% 1 25% 1 25% 0 0% 4 100%
1988 1 33.30% 2 66.70% 0 0% 0 0% 3 100%
1987 2 33.30% 2 33.30% 2 33.30% 0 0% 6 100%
1986 6 60% 2 20% 2 20% 0 0% 10 100%
1985 3 50% 1 17% 2 33% 0 0% 6 100%
1984 3 100% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 3 100%
1982 0 0% 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1 100%
Total 239 44% 196 36% 101 19% 2 0% 538 100%

Last Execution October 5, 2016

2ab2e395e49a92feb1912fbe8c590c9eState Rep. Terry Canales has filed HB 316, a bill to prohibit death sentences in cases in which the defendant is convicted under the law of parties.  Last August 19, Rep. Canales sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott supporting clemency for Jeff Wood, who was sentenced to death under the law of parties. Before Gov. Abbott could act on the clemency request, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Wood a stay of execution. Wood remains under a death sentence pending further judicial action.

Website for Terry Canales.

Terry Canales on Twitter.

Terry Canales on Facebook.

85R2323 KJE-D
By: Canales H.B. No. 316
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to the extent of a defendant’s criminal responsibility for
the conduct of another in capital felony cases.
       BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
       SECTION 1.  Section 1, Article 37.071, Code of Criminal
Procedure, is amended to read as follows:
       Sec. 1.  (a)  If a defendant is found guilty in a capital
felony case in which the state does not seek the death penalty, the
judge shall sentence the defendant to life imprisonment or to life
imprisonment without parole as required by Section 12.31, Penal
Code.
       (b)  A defendant who is found guilty in a capital felony case
only as a party under Section 7.02, Penal Code, may not be sentenced
to death, and the state may not seek the death penalty in any case in
which the defendant’s liability is based solely on that section.
       SECTION 2.  Sections 2(b), (c), (d), and (g), Article
37.071, Code of Criminal Procedure, are amended to read as follows:
       (b)  On conclusion of the presentation of the evidence, the
court shall instruct [submit the following issues to] the jury to
determine [:
             [(1)]  whether there is a probability that the
defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that would
constitute a continuing threat to society[; and
             [(2)     in cases in which the jury charge at the guilt or
innocence stage permitted the jury to find the defendant guilty as a
party under Sections 7.01 and 7.02, Penal Code, whether the
defendant actually caused the death of the deceased or did not
actually cause the death of the deceased but intended to kill the
deceased or another or anticipated that a human life would be
taken].
       (c)  The state must prove the [each] issue submitted under
Subsection (b) [of this article] beyond a reasonable doubt, and the
jury shall return a special verdict of “yes” or “no” on that [each]
issue [submitted under Subsection (b) of this Article].
       (d)  The court shall charge the jury that:
             (1)  in deliberating on the issue [issues] submitted
under Subsection (b) [of this article], it shall consider all
evidence admitted at the guilt or innocence stage and the
punishment stage, including evidence of the defendant’s background
or character or the circumstances of the offense that militates for
or mitigates against the imposition of the death penalty;
             (2)  it may not answer the [any] issue submitted under
Subsection (b) [of this article] “yes” unless it agrees unanimously
and it may not answer the [any] issue “no” unless 10 or more jurors
agree; and
             (3)  members of the jury need not agree on what
particular evidence supports a negative answer to the [any] issue
submitted under Subsection (b) [of this article].
       (g)  If the jury returns an affirmative finding on the [each]
issue submitted under Subsection (b) and a negative finding on the
[an] issue submitted under Subsection (e)(1), the court shall
sentence the defendant to death.  If the jury returns a negative
finding on the [any] issue submitted under Subsection (b) or an
affirmative finding on the [an] issue submitted under Subsection
(e)(1) or is unable to answer an [any] issue submitted under
Subsection (b) or (e), the court shall sentence the defendant to
confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life
imprisonment without parole.
       SECTION 3.  Section 2(e)(1), Article 37.071, Code of
Criminal Procedure, is amended to read as follows:
       (e)(1)  The court shall instruct the jury that if the jury
returns an affirmative finding to the [each] issue submitted under
Subsection (b), it shall determine whether [answer the following
issue:
       [Whether], taking into consideration all of the evidence,
including the circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s
character and background, and the personal moral culpability of the
defendant, there is a sufficient mitigating circumstance or
circumstances to warrant that a sentence of life imprisonment
without parole rather than a death sentence be imposed.
       SECTION 4.  Section 2, Article 37.0711, Code of Criminal
Procedure, is amended to read as follows:
       Sec. 2.  (a)  If a defendant is found guilty in a case in
which the state does not seek the death penalty, the judge shall
sentence the defendant to life imprisonment.
       (b)  A defendant who is found guilty in a capital felony case
only as a party under Section 7.02, Penal Code, may not be sentenced
to death, and the state may not seek the death penalty in any case in
which the defendant’s liability is based solely on that section.
       SECTION 5.  The change in law made by this Act applies to a
criminal proceeding that commences on or after the effective date
of this Act. A criminal proceeding that commences before the
effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect when the
proceeding commenced, and the former law is continued in effect for
that purpose.
       SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

 

 

State Rep Terry Canales Clemency Letter for Jeff Wood by Scott Cobb on Scribd

lobby1Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston today filed HB 64, a bill to abolish the death penalty in Texas.

Rep. Dutton also filed HB 147, a bill to prohibit the death penalty for people convicted under the law of parties. Jeff Wood received a stay of execution in August 2016 after many legislators expressed support by writing clemency letters to Gov. Greg Abbott. Wood received a stay of execution from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals pending further review.

Rep Dutton first filed a bill to abolish the death penalty in 2003, which was the first abolition bill filed in the Texas Legislature in a long time up to that year. Everyone opposed to the death penalty should thank Rep Dutton for his leading role in the effort in the Texas Legislature to end the death penalty.

It was an exciting day back in 2003 when Dutton’s abolition bill was heard in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. That was the first time an abolition bill was heard in a Texas legislative committee in the modern era, and maybe ever.

Rep Harold Dutton is pictured speaking at one of our Day of Innocence Lobby Days to Abolish the Death Penalty.

In 2017, we will hold another lobby day to abolish the death penalty. In 2015, during the Texas Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty, we went with two death row exonerees, Ron Keine and Sabrina Butler of Witness to Innocence, and met with State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr to ask him to file a bill in the senate to abolish the death penalty, which he filed two weeks later. It was the first-time ever a bill to completely abolish the death penalty had been filed in the Texas Senate.

Anti-Death Penalty MarchThe 17th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty will take place Saturday October 29, 2016 in Austin at the Texas Capitol.

We will gather at 2:00 pm at on the south side of the Texas Capitol.

Last summer, we successfully mobilized to build support to stop the execution of Jeff Wood, who was scheduled for execution but received a stay after people across Texas, including both Republican and Democratic Texas legislators, newspapers, religious leaders, and many others spoke out in support of clemency. The main issue that caused so many people to speak out was that Wood had been sentenced to death under the law of parties even though he did not kill anyone. The march takes place 73 days before the 2017 Texas legislative session convenes. As a major theme of the march, we will continue to build support for passing the bill to ban executions of people convicted under the law of parties.  Speakers will include Jeff Wood’s sister Terri Been. Other speakers will be announced later.

Each autumn since 2000, people from all walks of life and all parts of Texas, the U.S. and other countries have taken a day out of their year and gathered in Austin to raise their voices together and loudly express their opposition to the death penalty. The march is a coming together of activists, family members of those on death row, community leaders, exonerated death row survivors, family members of murder victims who oppose the death penalty, and all those calling for abolition. The march started in Austin in 2000. In 2007 and 2008, the march was held in Houston. It came back to Austin for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. It was in Houston again in 2014 and back in Austin in 2015.

The annual march is organized as a joint project by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations working together with leading national organizations: Texas Moratorium Network, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center, Kids Against the Death Penalty, and national organizations including Journey of Hope … from Violence to Healing, and Witness to Innocence.

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