Texas is the number one execution state in the U.S. If William Wyatt Jr is executed, he will become the 372nd person executed in Texas since 1982.
There is no doubt that Wyatt committed the offense for which he was sentenced to death. However, the many problems with the Texas death penalty system means that all executions in Texas should be stayed.
An immediate halt to executions in Texas is warranted by The Chicago Tribune’s investigation finding that Texas may have executed an innocent man named Carlos De Luna. The Tribune began publishing the results of its investigation in the paper’s June 25th edition. The De Luna case is the third time in 19 months that a major newspaper investigation has concluded that an innocent person may have been executed by the state of Texas. The Chicago Tribune previously reported in November 2004 that Cameron Willingham was probably innocent of setting the arson fire that killed his three daughters. Willingham was executed by Texas in 2004. The Houston Chronicle has reported that Ruben Cantu, who was executed by Texas in 1993, was also probably innocent.
“Reports that three innocent people may have been executed by Texas should shake the souls of every person in this state”, said Scott Cobb, president of Texas Moratorium Network. “These continuing reports of executions of innocent people indicate that we now have an emergency situation in Texas. The death penalty system here is clearly not capable of sorting out the guilty from the innocent before strapping people down for their lethal injections. Texas district attorneys and judges should enact a moratorium on executions by agreeing to cancel all execution dates until the next session of the Texas Legislature has an opportunity to address the crisis”, said Cobb.
Please take this opportunity to petition Governor Perry to stop the execution, using the link above. A protest will take place on Thursday from 5:30-6:30 p.m, in various cities throughout Texas, including outside the Governor’s mansion in Austin and outside The Walls Unit in Huntsville.