In another success stemming from our lobby day back on March 3, Rep. Harold Dutton’s bill to ban the death penalty in law of parties cases (HB 341) has been approved by the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, which recommended that it “be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass”. The vote was 4-2. Two Republicans and two Democrats voted yes. One Republican and one Democrat voted no. And one Republican was absent.
The bi-partisan support for the bill bodes well for it to gain enough support to pass the entire House. Please contact your Texas state representative and urge them to support HB 341.
HB 341 was one of the bills that people lobbied for on the Statewide Texas Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty on March 3. When the bill was heard in committee, we returned to the capitol to support it. One of the people who testified in support of it in the committee hearing was Terri Been, whose brother Jeff Wood is on death row in a law of parties case even though he did not kill anyone himself and did not intend anyone to be killed. He was outside in a car when another person killed a convenience store clerk.
Before it can reach the floor of the House for a vote by all the members of the House, it must first pass the Calendars Committee. Below are the members of the Calendars Committee.
The chair laid out HB 341.
Representative Canales moved that HB 341, without amendments, be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed. The motion prevailed by the following record vote:
Ayes: Representatives Herrero; Canales; Leach; Simpson (4).
Nays: Representatives Moody; Shaheen (2).
Present, Not Voting: None (0).
Absent: Representative Hunter (1).