To put ending the death penalty on the Texas Democratic Party agenda, we need you to become a delegate this year to your County or Senatorial District Convention and later in June to the State Convention!
1.     The first step is to attend your Precinct Convention Tuesday, March 2 right after the polls close. Your precinct convention should begin at 7:15 p.m. the evening of the primary election (Tuesday, March 2).  Take progressive Democratic friends with you! 
 At the precinct convention you can take copies of our resolution for a moratorium on executions and one for the abolition of the death penalty and pass them out while waiting for the meeting to begin.  Also give one to the chair.  The chair will read each resolution, then there can be discussion and then a vote is taken.
Then there will be an election for delegates to the County or Senatorial District Conventions.  In the big cities, there are conventions for each Senate district.  In smaller towns, like in the Rio Grande Valley, there are County Conventions.  Nominate yourself or get a friend to nominate you.  And you nominate your progressive friends.  Then you can attend the County or Senate District conventions and again put the resolutions up for a vote.
More information can be found on the state party website here: www.txdemocrats. org/2010- precinct- conventions/
2.     Become a delegate to your County or Senatorial District Convention which will be held on Saturday, March 20. 
If you are elected to attend your county or senatorial district convention (information here:www.txdemocrats. org/2010- county-sd- conventions/) then hopefully you can get elected to the state convention.  This is much more difficult that getting elected to the County / Senatorial District, however 🙁
3.     If are elected a delegate to the State Convention, it will be held in Corpus Christi this year (June 25-26, information here: www.txdemocrats. org/2010statecon vention/).  Activists will hold a “Democrats Against the Death Penalty” caucus meeting at the TDP State Convention. The caucus was started in 2004 by Scott Cobb. In 2008, there was a record overflow turnout at the caucus of over 300 people. 
In 2008, the resolutions committee at the Texas Democratic Party State Convention approved a resolution to abolish the death penalty, but the resolution did not get taken up by the floor of the convention before the convention adjourned.  Nevertheless, it was a major success to get the abolition resolution approved by the committee.
·        What you can do at your conventions: 
1.      Pass our reasonable resolution calling for a moratorium on executions and the creation of a Texas Capital Punishment Commission and also another resolution calling for the abolition of the death penalty.  If you believe that Texas needs to stop executions, then we must use all opportunities to get our message out.   
2.     Seek out other progressives and tell them about our resolutions and ask them if they have a resolution that you can support.  There should be anti-war, environmental, and other progressive resolutions that you can give your support to.
3.     Also, approach those candidates with good criminal justice and progressive platforms.  Let them know how much you appreciate their positions on ending the Law of Parties or increasing compensation to those prisoners who have been wrongfully convicted or for reducing juvenile sentences or reducing our prison population.
What you can do BEFORE this Tuesday and your elections:  Share our resolutions on a moratorium and for abolition with your progressive friends and ask them if they will print them out and give a copy to the chair of their precinct convention. 
So, right now, e-mail these resolutions to all your friends that may vote tomorrow and ask them to help us.  Also, offer to help other progressive organizations who have resolutions.
 We will forward the abolition resolution and the moratorium resolution to other areas of the state and see how many allies can take it to their precinct, county, and senatorial districts.  The more that County and Senatorial District Conventions that pass the same resolution, the better the chances of it getting passed at the state level.
Questions? Contact the Abolition Movement at or call Njeri at 713-237-713 or Gloria at 713-503-2633. 
Here are the two resolutions.  You should print up both of them.  The first one is for a moratorium on executions and the creation of a Texas Capital Punishment Commission and the other is for the abolition of the death penalty.

It would be helpful to get both passed, but if you only want to do one of them, we suggest using the second one for ABOLITION.
  Texas Democratic Party Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on Executions 
WHEREAS Texas leads the nation in executions with 449 since 1982 (as of February 1, 2010). The frequency of executions and inadequacies in our criminal justice system increase the risk that an innocent person will be executed and because the execution of an innocent person by the State of Texas would be a grave injustice and would undermine public confidence in our criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS there is a significant risk that innocence cases in Texas are not being discovered, and innocent persons both reside on death row and could be wrongly executed in a system of capital punishment that often escapes governmental scrutiny and meaningful judicial review; and

WHEREAS an innocent person may already have been executed by Texas. The Chicago Tribune reported on December 9, 2004 that a Corsicana, Texas man named Cameron Todd Willingham may have been innocent of the arson/murder for which he was executed on February 17, 2004. A state-funded report commissioned by the Texas Forensic Science Commission written by fire expert Dr Craig Beyler said that “a finding of arson could not be sustained” in the Willingham case. Beyler said that key testimony from a fire marshal at Willingham’s trial was “hardly consistent with a scientific mind-set and is more characteristic of mystics or psychics”; and

WHEREAS Rick Perry received information prior to the execution of Todd Willingham that cast serious doubt on the scientific validity of forensic evidence used to convict Willingham, but Perry refused to issue a 30 day stay of execution to give more time for the evidence to be analyzed; and
WHEREAS Rick Perry interfered with an investigation into the Willingham case when he replaced the chair and all of his gubernatorial appointees to the Texas Forensic Science Commission only days before a scheduled hearing about a report submitted to the commission by Dr Craig Beyler; and
WHEREAS the Houston Chronicle reported on November 19, 2005 that a San Antonio man named Ruben Cantu may have been innocent of the crime for which he was executed on August 24, 1993 and the Chicago Tribune reported on June 24, 2006 that a Corpus Christi man named Carlos De Luna may have been innocent of the crime for which he was executed on December 7 1989; and

WHEREAS eleven people have been exonerated of murder and released from Texas Death Row and 139 people have been exonerated and released from death rows in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970’s; and

WHEREAS local taxpayers can be faced with the financial burden of settling lawsuits when innocent people are wrongfully convicted or executed because of problems in the criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS seeking a death sentence costs three times more than the cost of seeking life without parole.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party supports a moratorium on executions and the creation of a “Texas Capital Punishment Commission” to study the administration of capital punishment in Texas to correct any injustices or unfair processes that are found in the administration of the death penalty and to study how to eliminate the risk of innocent people being convicted and executed.
Texas Democratic Party Resolution to Abolish the Death Penalty
Whereas the death penalty system is a human system that makes errors;
Whereas Texas has sent innocent people to death row;
Whereas it is impossible to correct the error of a wrongful conviction once someone has been executed;
Whereas Texas as of 2005 has life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty;
Whereas the death penalty is applied unevenly throughout the state of Texas;
Whereas the death penalty discriminates against the poor and people of color;
Whereas the death penalty does not deter others from committing violent crime;
Whereas the death penalty costs 2 to 3 times more to implement than life without parole;
Therefore be it resolved that the Texas Democratic Party supports abolishing the death penalty in Texas and using the money saved by abolition to help victims of crime and to implement crime prevention measures that are truly effective.

Share →

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: