This is what happens with a parole board composed entirely of appointees of a Republican governor who has been in office for ten years. 

From the Austin American Statesman 
By Tony Plohetski | Friday, June 11, 2010, 02:17 PM
Members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole unanimously voted today against commuting the death sentence of David Lee Powell, who fatally shot an Austin police officer 32 years ago.
Powell’s scheduled execution by lethal injection is set for Tuesday in Huntsville.
Powell is among the state longest-serving death row inmates; the state has never executed an inmate who has served so long behind bars.
Powell, 59, was convicted and sentenced to death in the May 18, 1978 death of Police Officer Ralph Ablanedo during a traffic stop in South Austin. Ablanedo was shot 10 times with an AK-47.
Powell’s supporters have said that in his time behind bars, he has counseled fellow inmates and helped others learn to read.
This week, Powell’s attorneys filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus to state District Judge Mike Lynch and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, saying that jurors inaccurately predicted his future dangerousness. Lynch has said that he will let the Court of Criminal Appeals rule. That court has not yet made a decision.
The recommendation of the board of pardons and parole now goes to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who can accept it or grant a one-time 30-day reprieve.

Monday, June 14, people in Austin will gather at the Texas capitol to express their support for stopping the execution of David Powell and commuting his death sentence.  The demonstration in support of clemency will take place Monday, June 14, on the sidewalk in front of the capitol at Congress and 11th Street at 5:30 pm. The execution is scheduled to take place the day after the protest. Groups organizing the protest include Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Texas Moratorium Network and Students Against the Death Penalty. Join the Facebook page for this event here.

Powell has spent 32 years on death row, where he has become an example of how a person sentenced to death can transform his life and make a positive contribution to his community on death row as well as on the society outside prison. The Austin American Statesman has endorsed commuting Powell’s death sentence to life in prison without parole. The Austin Chronicle has also said that the execution should not take place. Thousands of people have written letters in support of clemency to District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Rick Perry can still grant a 30 day stay of execution. The contact information for Governor Perry is: (512) 463-1782 or through his email form on his website.

For more information on the Powell case, visit

Monday, June 14, 2010
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Texas State Capitol
Congress and 11th
Austin, TX

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One Response to Parole board unanimously declines to commute David Powell’s sentence: Rick Perry can still grant 30 day reprieve

  1. yvette99 says:

    Who is on this parole board because they have yet to make a fair unbiased decision based on facts! Why have this parole board? It would be put to better use letting them hand out Mickey mouse stickers with 'I have been given this job because I couldn't evaluate the facts'!

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