The Texas Legislature does not start its 2013 session until January, but early filing of bills has begun. Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston has filed HB 164, a bill to abolish the death penalty in Texas.
Rep Dutton first filed a bill to abolish the death penalty in 2003, which was the first abolition bill filed in the Texas Legislature in a long time up to that year. When no one else was willing to file a bill to abolish the death penalty, Rep Dutton stepped up in 2003 and filed an abolition bill. Everyone opposed to the death penalty should thank Rep Dutton for his leading role in the effort in the Texas Legislature to end the death penalty.
It was an exciting day back in 2003 when Dutton’s abolition bill was heard in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. That was the first time an abolition bill was heard in a Texas legislative Committee in the modern era, and maybe ever.
Rep Harold Dutton is pictured speaking at one of our Day of Innocence Lobby Days to Repeal the Death Penalty.
Below Rep Dutton speaks at the 2011 Day of Innocence. Behind him are six death row exonerees who spent years on death row for crimes they did not commit.