Here is an example letter we sent to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles regarding Napolean Beazley. Feel free to use this as a template for your own letters.

May 16, 2002

Chairman Gerald Garrett
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
P.O. Box 13401, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711

RE: Clemency for Napoleon Beazley

Dear Chairman Garrett:

I am writing on behalf of Texas Moratorium Network to appeal for clemency 
for Napoleon Beazley on two major grounds – his status as a juvenile 
offender at the time of his offense and the racial aspects of the case. We 
would like you to recommend to Governor Perry that he commute Napoleon’s 
sentence to life in prison.

Napoleon was only 17 years old at the time of his crime. There is a growing 
consensus in Texas that we should stop executing people who commit crimes 
under the age of 18. In 2001, the Texas House of Representatives passed a 
bill that would have banned executions of juvenile offenders. The bill did 
not reach the Senate in time for it to be considered before the session 
expired. In 2003, the bill will be filed again and in light of growing 
opposition among Texas voters to executing juvenile offenders, and the fact 
that by continuing to execute juvenile offenders the United States stands 
virtually alone in the world community, the bill will probably pass next 
time. Please do not allow Napoleon to be one of the last juvenile offenders 
to be executed before the Texas Legislature bans the practice.

Texas Moratorium Network is also concerned about the racial aspects of this 
case. Napoleon is an African-American who was sentenced to death by an 
all-white jury for the murder of a white person. Potential black jurors were 
systematically kept off Napoleon’s jury. Maryland recently enacted a 
moratorium on executions in order to complete a study on the issue of race 
and the death penalty. Texas also needs to stop executions in cases where 
race has played an important factor in determining whether a defendant 
receives the death penalty. We need to make sure that defendants are judged 
by the relevant facts of their cases and not by the color of their skin.

Texas Moratorium Network, an organization with a growing support base of 
more than 6,000 people across the state of Texas, is working to establish a 
moratorium on executions, so that a Texas Capital Punishment Commission can 
conduct a comprehensive study of the death penalty system in our state.

Thank you for your consideration,


Scott Cobb
Texas Moratorium Network

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