10995881_10153044710644473_6037723678064385649_n (1)The 2017 Statewide Texas Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty will be held sometime in March or April when the chair of the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence schedules a hearing on the bills to abolish the death penalty and the bills to ban executions in law of parties cases. As soon as we know the date of the hearing, we will let you know, so that you can plan to attend. We will know the date at least one and possibly two weeks before it happens. We are raising funds so that we can bring some death row exonerees to the Capitol in Austin to participate in the lobby day and to testify at a committee hearing. Please donate to help us bring the exonerees to lobby day. People from across Texas will come to the Capitol in Austin on our Lobby Day to advocate for three bills to abolish the death penalty in Texas (HB 64 filed by State Rep Harold Dutton and HB 1537 by State Rep Jessica Farrar, as well SB 597 filed by Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr). We will also lobby for bills that would prohibit death sentences for people convicted under the Law of Parties even though they did not kill anyone (HB 147 by Rep Dutton and HB 316 by Rep Terry Canales). In past years, our Lobby Day has resulted in several legislators signing on to support the bills we lobbied for. In 2015 we visited the office of Senator Eddie Lucio Jr with two death row exonerees from Witness to Innocence, Ron Keine and Sabrina Butler. They told their stories and asked him to file a bill to abolish the death penalty. He filed his abolition bill two weeks later. As we do every session, we are calling this the “Day of Innocence” at the capitol. Special guests include several people who were sentenced to death and later exonerated, including Ron Keine, and Albert Burrell from Witness to Innocence. We are working to confirm others. We will ask the Texas House of Representatives to honor the death row exonerees with a resolution on the floor of the House of Representatives. We will visit legislative offices and ask legislators to support abolishing the death penalty. We will also attend the committee hearing and testify in support of the bills. The Statewide Texas Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty has been organized since 2003 by several organizations working together, including Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Kids Against the Death Penalty, and Students Against the Death Penalty. Organizations that would like to participate or co-sponsor the Lobby Day can contact any of the organizations listed above.
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