The Dallas Morning News Editorial Board has named their top priorities for 2012 and one of them is to “push for a moratorium on executions, (and) study the capital punishment system”. The Dallas Morning News consistently gets it right on strategy regarding the death penalty. In Texas, seeking a moratorium on executions is the best way forward for people against the death penalty to achieve their goals of stopping executions as soon as possible. The Dallas Morning News has since 2007 endorsed abolishing the death penalty. With a concerted effort of everyone interested in criminal justice reform, Texas could have a moratorium on executions. If Texas had had a moratorium as early as 2001, when Texas Moratorium Network first lobbied the Texas Legislature for a moratorium and when 54 Legislators (including one Republican) voted on the floor of the Texas House for a moratorium, then it is likely that some of the controversial executions that have occurred since then could have been prevented, including the execution of Todd Willingham.
“From the Dallas Morning News “Editorial: The issues we’ll push in 2012“:
Two celebrated murder cases have disintegrated in the past two years, both freeing wrongly convicted men — Anthony Graves in 2010, Michael Morton in 2011 — and allowing the real killers to go free. Both involve serious, credible accusations of prosecutorial misconduct; both point to the need for reform. So might the Hank Skinner murder case out of West Texas. His execution was postponed last month pending a ruling on whether he could have untested evidence subjected to DNA exams. That access was the intent of a newly passed law, and if courts aren’t reading it as such, further legislative action is needed. Lawmakers should launch their research now.