Upcoming Executions
Click for a list of upcoming scheduled executions in Texas.
Innocence
The death penalty puts innocent people at risk of execution.
Todd Willingham
Todd Willingham was wrongfully executed under Governor Rick Perry on February 17, 2004.
250 executions under one Governor. It is an almost unbelievable number, but it could happen by the end of 2012. As of today, 243 people have been executed since Texas Governor Rick Perry took office in 2000. More people have been executed under Perry than under any other governor in U.S. history. One of the people executed under Perry was Todd Willingham in 2004, who was innocent. Rick Perry did not even consider pausing executions after it became apparent that an innocent person had been executed. Currently, there are eight more executions scheduled in Texas this year, which would bring Perry's total to 251. More executions could still be scheduled and some of the executions will probably be stayed.

Scheduled Executions

Scheduled Execution Link Last Name First Name TDCJ Number Date of Birth Race Date Received County
07/18/2012 Offender Information Hearn Yokamon 999292 11/06/1978 B 12/31/1998 Dallas
08/01/2012 Offender Information Druery Marcus 999464 11/20/1979 B 12/05/2003 Brazos
08/07/2012 Offender Information Wilson Marvin 999098 01/05/1958 B 05/09/1994 Jefferson
08/22/2012 Offender Information Balentine John 999315 01/30/1969 B 06/11/1999 Potter
09/20/2012 Offender Information Harris Robert 999364 02/28/1972 B 10/06/2000 Dallas
09/25/2012 Offender Information Foster Cleve 999470 10/24/1963 W 03/01/2004 Tarrant
11/08/2012 Offender Information Swain Mario 999475 02/28/1979 B 04/08/2004 Gregg
11/14/2012 Offender Information Hernandez Ramon 999431 11/8/1971 H 10/21/2002 Bexar
Last updated June 25, 2012
Below is the text of the death penalty section of the 2012 Texas Democratic Party platform in which the party calls for the abolition of the death penalty. The full platform is on the TDP website.
DEATH PENALTY Despite 41 DNA exonerations in Texas in the last 9 years, Rick Perry says he never loses sleep over executing the innocent. Perry has overseen over 240 executions in Texas. Detailed research shows that the Texas death penalty system cannot insure that innocent and undeserving defendants are not sentenced to death. Death penalty exonerations have already revealed deep flaws in our State’s criminal justice system. Evidence --‐ including scientific evidence, extensive studies by innocence Project, major newspaper and university research strongly suggests that Texas has already executed innocent defendants including Carlos DeLuna, Ruben Cantu, and Cameron Todd Willingham. Former Governor Mark White has stated we must take every step to ensure there is never another innocent man executed. The application of the death penalty in Texas is disproportionately applied to the poor and minorities. The system has allowed in the past the execution of juveniles, the mentally ill and poor defendants who had such inadequate counsel that their lawyers literally slept through their trials. Other states are increasingly rejecting the death penalty as evidenced by the legislatures in New Jersey (2007), New Mexico (2009),Illinois (2011), and Connecticut (2012) repealing the death penalty. In order to promote public confidence and fairness in the Texas Criminal Justice system, Texas Democrats call for the passage of legislation that would abolish the death penalty in Texas and replace it with the punishment of life in prison without parole.
After 12 years of organizing and lobbying by ordinary grassroots Democrats across the state as well as by exonerated former death row inmates, the Texas Democratic Party has adopted a platform that calls for repealing the death penalty in Texas. Thank you to all the Democrats across the state who worked so hard over the years for this moment to arrive and thank you especially to the delegates at the 2012 Texas Democratic Party State Convention for approving a platform calling for abolition of the death penalty! Thank you especially today to death row exoneree Clarence Brandley and to Elizabeth Gilbert (a friend of Todd Willingham) who both spoke at Friday's packed caucus meeting of "Democrats Against the Death Penalty". We urged everyone at the meeting to elect platform committee members who would vote yes for abolition. For the last 12 years Texas Moratorium Network has been urging the Texas Democratic Party to take a position against the death penalty and in favor of various criminal justice reforms that would improve the system, decrease wrongful convictions and eliminate the possibility of innocent people being executed. Starting in 2000, we have had a booth at every State Convention. In 2004, TMN developed the strategy of changing the platform through the Chair's Advisory Committee on the Platform. In 2004, TMN's Scott Cobb  was on the chair's advisory committee and elected to the permanent platform committee  at the convention and wrote an entirely new section of the platform entitled "Capital Punishment" that for the first time ever included support for a stop to executions with a moratorium and a study commission. In 2004, members of TMN also for the first time organized a caucus within the party to push for abolishing the death penalty - "Democrats Against the Death Penalty". We have held a meeting of the caucus at each State Convention since 2004, when we had a team of about 30 volunteers at the convention collecting signatures on a petition for a death penalty moratorium in order to bring a resolution to the floor of the convention for a vote. We collected signatures from more than 30 percent of the delegates which was enough to bring the resolution for a moratorium to the floor for a vote where it was approved overwhelmingly. In 2006, we went back to hold another caucus meeting. In 2008, more than 300 people attended the meeting at the State Convention of "Democrats Against the Death Penalty". In 2008, many people worked very hard and succeeded in getting the Resolutions Committee to approve a resolution in favor of abolishing the death penalty, but the convention adjourned before the abolition resolution received a vote on the floor of the convention. In 2008, we proposed making further progress by adding language in favor of abolishing the death penalty at the Chair's Advisory Committee on the Platform, but our proposal was rejected by the committee because the party was perceived to be not yet ready to take the position to end the death penalty. We met again at the 2010 convention in Corpus Christi when we brought death row exoneree Juan Melendez to speak to our caucus meeting and to the resolutions committee. Today, we just returned from another State Convention where we again had a booth and a caucus meeting with about 130 attendees in a packed room. Before the convention, we sent an email to about 5,000 delegates and alternates urging them to support repeal of the death penalty. And we succeeded. Texas Democrats are now on record in support of repealing the death penalty. "Democrats Against the Death Penalty" met 10-11 AM Friday, June 8, 2012 at the Texas Democratic Party State Convention in Room 370 ABC at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Guest speakers included: Clarence Brandley, an innocent man who spent ten years on Texas death row for a crime he did not commit. Elizabeth Gilbert, who was a close friend of Todd Willingham, an innocent man executed by Texas. Elizabeth's role in Todd's fight to prove his innocence was told in the article in The New Yorker by David Grann "Trial by Fire".

Elizabeth Gilbert and Clarence Brandley

  Senator Rodney Ellis said in the most recent issue of Texas Monthly, "I'm convinced [Cameron Todd] Willingham was innocent". We sold a bunch of DVDs at the convention of the award-winning documentary "Incendiary: The Willingham Case" by Austin filmmakers Steve Mims and Joe Bailey Jr.        

Keith Hampton

  Keith Hampton dropped by and introduced himself to the crowd. He is running against Sharon Keller for the position of Presiding Judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. She is the judge who said "we close at 5" and refused to stay open to allow lawyers for a person about to be executed to submit an appeal.             Former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Court Judge Morris Overstreet visiting the TMN booth.  Thank you to our volunteers at the booth, Jamie Bush, Scott Cobb, Hooman Hedayati, Gloria Rubac, Angie Agapetus, Lee Greenwood, Delia Perez Meyer and Joanne Gavin.
"Democrats Against the Death Penalty" will meet 10-11 AM Friday, June 8, 2012 at the Texas Democratic Party State Convention in Room 370 ABC at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Everyone is invited to attend, learn more about the issue and join the effort to end the death penalty in Texas. Visit the event page on Facebook.

Guest speakers include:

Clarence Brandley, an innocent man who spent ten years on Texas death row for a crime he did not commit.

Elizabeth Gilbert, who was a close friend of Todd Willingham, an innocent man executed by Texas. Elizabeth's role in Todd's fight to prove his innocence was told in the article in The New Yorker by David Grann "Trial by Fire". Senator Rodney Ellis said in the most recent issue of Texas Monthly, "I'm convinced [Cameron Todd] Willingham was innocent".

Candidates and elected officials are invited to drop by our meeting to introduce themselves.

Our caucus meeting was first held at the 2004 State Convention. We have met at every State Convention since 2004. We were responsible in 2004 for persuading the TDP to include support for a moratorium on executions in the party platform, as part of a completely new section of the platform entitled "Capital Punishment" that sets forth the party's position on the issue. It has been included in every TDP platform since 2004.

Visit the shared Texas Moratorium Network and Democrats Against the Death Penalty booth in the exhibition area. We will have DVDs for purchase of the award-winning documentary "Incendiary: The Willingham Case" by Austin filmmakers Steve Mims and Joe Bailey Jr.

We urge every delegate to support the resolution to repeal the death penalty that will be considered by the Resolutions Committee on Saturday. At the 2008 TDP Sate Convention, the Resolutions Committee passed a resolution in favor of abolishing the death penalty but the convention adjourned before it came up for a vote on the floor. Some other state Democratic parties have already passed resolutions calling for repeal of the death penalty. Just last week, the New Hampshire Democratic Party passed a death penalty repeal resolution. The California Democratic Party platform supports abolishing the death penalty. California will vote on ending the death penalty this November in a ballot proposal.

The death penalty has been repealed in the last ten years in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois and just this year in Connecticut. California may be next.

Texas Democrats should go on record in 2012 to repeal the death penalty before Texas executes another innocent person.

To read extensive documentation on the case of Carlos DeLuna, another innocent person executed by Texas visit this website by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.

Death Row Exonerees leading a March to Abolish the Death Penalty in Austin

Death row exonerees leading a March to Abolish the Death Penalty in Austin. The 13th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty will be November 3, 2012 at the Capitol in Austin.

Senator Rodney Ellis says in a Texas Monthly roundtable discussion, "I’m convinced [Cameron Todd] Willingham was innocent." Yet, Senator Ellis won't push for a moratorium on executions. That does not make sense. If the Texas Legislature had enacted a moratorium in 2001 or 2003 (as we asked them to), it is highly likely that Todd Willingham would not have been executed in 2004 and he would have had more time to prove his innocence. Please contact Senator Ellis and urge him to push for a moratorium on executions. More from the Texas Monthly roundtable with Art Acevedo chief of the Austin Police Department since 2007; Rodney Ellis who was elected to the state Senate in 1990; Anthony Graves who was wrongfully convicted in 1992 and released from jail in 2010; Barbara Hervey a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals and the chair of the court’s fourteen-member Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit. She lives in San Antonio; Kelly Siegler a special prosecutor; Craig Watkins the DA of Dallas County and a former defense attorney and Jake Silverstein, editor of TEXAS MONTHLY.
Silverstein: I want to talk about capital punishment. District Attorney Watkins, it’s something that you are morally opposed to, but in your capacity as district attorney in Dallas County, it’s something you’ve had to seek in some cases. Are you going to push for there to be a moratorium on the death penalty? Watkins: I don’t think from my little seat as DA in Dallas County, which is one of 254 counties, that I have a voice to say there should be a moratorium. I can tell you how we do it in Dallas. We have a death penalty review team that looks at everything before we make a determination. It’s not just me making the decision. We have people with different views, and it’s majority rule. When we pursue it, guilt or innocence is not the issue. It’s pretty much, a guy’s confessed. Ellis: I’ve presided over three executions. On the first day I was acting governor, as president pro tem of the Senate, an execution had been scheduled. I read the file. They had changed the pleadings to make the case to me: “Senator Ellis, you’ve been a civil rights leader; the death penalty has a disproportionate impact on people of color.” It was a direct appeal to me, and I remember thinking that when I took the oath to be president pro tem of the Senate, I swore to enforce the laws of the state of Texas. Not just the ones I like. So I read the file, I got on the line, and I said the state would proceed. But I do think there’s a distinct possibility the state of Texas has executed an innocent person. Graves: Too many. You can’t tell me that I’m wrong. You tried to kill me twice. For something I knew nothing about. Ellis: I’m convinced [Cameron Todd] Willingham was innocent. Watkins: But you’ve got to get away from the morality of it, because people have different morals. It’s got to be logistics. Do we have things in place to make sure we don’t get it wrong? That’s a legitimate question. Siegler: Yes—yes, we do. Checks and balances are in place. It’s the human beings involved that are the problem. You know, it’s another discussion if the people of Texas don’t want the death penalty. If they don’t, fine. But right now, that’s the law. Ellis: But obviously all of us at this table have the ability to influence the law. Siegler: Not that law. Ellis: No, we do. If prosecutors were to say, “Hey, there are enough questions out here, there’s human error, we all make mistakes.” Graves: Come on! To me, it’s an insult that you almost killed me and you’re still not even talking about a moratorium to find out what went wrong. You ask my mother about that. Ask my mom. Ellis: I would say this: as a politician, as a policy maker, I wouldn’t put myself in a position where I would minimize my ability to enact meaningful reforms just to try to pass a moratorium bill. Whenever I carry these reforms, my colleagues come over to me and say, “You’re just against the death penalty. That’s your problem.” And I can look them in the eye and say, “I’ve presided over three executions. By what right do you say to me that I’m against the death penalty? I’ve done it. I’ll go to my maker. I did it. I could’ve given the thirty-day reprieve, but I didn’t.” I just don’t want the debate. I don’t want to minimize anybody’s ability to pass meaningful reforms. In a very conservative state, we’ve made some pretty significant advances. Siegler: So you’re saying you don’t want to waste your time with a moratorium. Ellis: Yeah, I don’t want to minimize my ability to pass other stuff. Graves: I’ve experienced it! And I’m listening to the politics of it. And I’m like, we’re not getting to the real issue. We’re skirting around the real issue. We’re sitting up here discussing the narratives; we’re not discussing the issue. Ellis: I think exonerations and the reforms that we have put in place over the years collectively make it more difficult to get an execution. When I put a spotlight on imperfections in the system, it’s harder for a prosecutor to get an execution. I hope these reforms that I’ve advocated—some of which we have passed—I hope they’ve made it more difficult. Because I’m convinced somebody’s going to look back at us in 25 years and ask, “What the hell were they doing?” Most of [the wrongly convicted] are poor, most of them are black. Graves: And mentally retarded, losing their minds. Watkins: Let me ask you this [to Graves]: When I was campaigning for DA, I ran somewhat on the issue of innocence. So when I got elected, I had to prove the thesis. So now here you are, you’ve been exonerated. And you were on death row, and you have a voice—you’re in a position where people will listen to what you say. And you’re saying that we should get away from capital punishment in Texas because we could make a mistake? Prove it. Hall: How can you prove somebody 
innocent? Graves: Here’s the proof. You tried to kill me twice. Watkins: Yeah, but you’re one. Graves: But one is one too many, ’cause my mother would have never gotten me back had you killed me. I understand exactly what you’re saying. You’re being real about our whole system and that you really have to go out there and prove it to change the mentality about it all. And I understand that, but if I have to go and prove it, that means we’ve got a bigger problem. Acevedo: Let me tell you, you’re a better person than me—you’re a better man than I am. If I were you, I couldn’t be sitting at this table. Graves: I have to be at this table. Hervey: We could never apologize to you enough for what’s happened, but hopefully you know that we’re trying to make a difference. Graves: Yes, ma’am, I surely believe that. Acevedo: What you need to understand is that one Anthony at a time, we build a case. Every single one that we identify is one step closer to tipping the scales of justice. We’re here right now. We’re a few more egregious cases away from people finally taking a step back and saying enough is enough.
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