The 17th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty will take place Saturday October 29, 2016 in Austin at the Texas Capitol.
We will gather at 2:00 pm at on the south side of the Texas Capitol.
Last summer, we successfully mobilized to build support to stop the execution of Jeff Wood, who was scheduled for execution but received a stay after people across Texas, including both Republican and Democratic Texas legislators, newspapers, religious leaders, and many others spoke out in support of clemency. The main issue that caused so many people to speak out was that Wood had been sentenced to death under the law of parties even though he did not kill anyone. The march takes place 73 days before the 2017 Texas legislative session convenes. As a major theme of the march, we will continue to build support for passing the bill to ban executions of people convicted under the law of parties. Speakers will include Jeff Wood’s sister Terri Been. Other speakers will be announced later.
Each autumn since 2000, people from all walks of life and all parts of Texas, the U.S. and other countries have taken a day out of their year and gathered in Austin to raise their voices together and loudly express their opposition to the death penalty. The march is a coming together of activists, family members of those on death row, community leaders, exonerated death row survivors, family members of murder victims who oppose the death penalty, and all those calling for abolition. The march started in Austin in 2000. In 2007 and 2008, the march was held in Houston. It came back to Austin for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. It was in Houston again in 2014 and back in Austin in 2015.
The annual march is organized as a joint project by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations working together with leading national organizations: Texas Moratorium Network, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center, Kids Against the Death Penalty, and national organizations including Journey of Hope … from Violence to Healing, and Witness to Innocence.