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.

Here is a personal message from Kerry Max Cook:

“After my story and ongoing legal plight was published on the front-page of the New York Times last week, a National organization called Change.org contacted me and wants to try and collect as many signatures as possible to try and put pressure on Texas to do the right thing and officially recognize my innocence. With this in mind, and with their encouragement, I started a petition on Change.org asking the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend me for a full pardon based on actual innocence.”

Click here to sign my petition:

 

 

Why This Is Important

In 1978 I was found guilty for the rape and murder of a 21-year-old woman in Texas. I was sentenced to death row. I was innocent.

In 1999 I was proven innocent through DNA testing — after over 20 years on death row.

The case against me was based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Over the years, every piece of evidence used to convict me was revealed to be bogus.The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the prosecution had suppressed evidence that showed I was innocent in order to build their case against me.

Thirteen years after my innocence was proven and I was released from prison, the state of Texas still has not judicially exonerated me.

I was tried for this murder nearly four times. Despite an Appellate ruling throwing out my second conviction with findings that “Police and prosecutorial misconduct has tainted this entire matter from the outset,” the Smith County District Attorney’s Office was more interested in saving face than justice.

Unwilling to drop the charges against me on the eve of my fourth trial, prosecutors offered a plea-bargain: plead no-contest with no admission of guilt, and go free. By this time my only brother had been murdered, my Dad had died of cancer, and my mother had abandoned me. I took the offer and walked out of the courtroom. But I have never been free.

Two months later, DNA evidence proved my innocence.

Because I pleaded no-contest to the murder, I cannot be declared actually innocent unless the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends to Governor Rick Perry that I be pardoned and Texas Governor Rick Perry agrees and sets me free.

Without being exonerated, I feel I am still in a Texas prison.

Please sign my petition and ask the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend to Texas Governor Rick Perry that I be pardoned and finally set free from my mental prison sentence now in its 35th year.

Kerry Cook

Jesse Joe Hernandez received lethal injection tonight in Huntsville for the slaying of Karlos Borja 11 years ago. Today’s execution was the 481st in Texas since 1982 and the 242nd since Rick Perry became Governor. More than 50 percent of all executions in Texas in the modern era have been conducted under Rick Perry. Call the Office of Governor Rick Perry at 512 463 2000 to give him your opinion on the death penalty.

From ABC:

The execution was carried out about two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court denied last-ditch appeals for the 47-year-old Hernandez.

There is an execution scheduled today in Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court could still stop it, according to news reports. Forty-seven-year-old Jesse Joe Hernandez is set for lethal injection Wednesday evening in Huntsville for the slaying of Karlos Borjas 11 years ago.

Today’s execution would be the 481st in Texas since 1982 and the 242nd since Rick Perry became Governor. More than 50 percent of all executions in Texas in the modern era have been conducted under Rick Perry. Call the Office of Governor Rick Perry at 512 463 2000 to give him your opinion on the death penalty.

From NBCDFW.com:

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to block the scheduled execution of a convicted child sex offender condemned in the beating death of a 10-month-old boy he was babysitting at a home in Dallas.

Scheduled Executions in Texas

To express your opposition to any execution, you can contact Governor Rick Perry’s office at 512 463 2000. If you call after business hours, you can leave a voice mail message. During business hours, someone should answer the phone. You can also send a message using a form on Perry’s official website.

Jesse Hernandez, March 28, 2012
TDCJ Info on Jesse Hernandez

Beunka Adams, April 26, 2012
TDCJ Info on Beunka Adams

Anthony Bartee, May 2, 2012
TDCJ Info on Anthony Bartee

Steven Staley, May 16, 2012
TDCJ Info on Steven Staley

Bobby Hines, June 6, 2012
TDCJ Info on Bobby Hines

Marcus Druery, August 1, 2012
TDCJ Info on Marcus Druery

Ramon Hernandez, November 14, 2012
TDCJ Info on Ramon Hernandez

This Friday and Saturday March 23-24 in Austin there will be a symposium examining lynching and the death penalty.

The Lynching and the Death Penalty symposium begins with a keynote address by Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, titled “Lynching, Racial History and Death Penalty Disqualification.” This two-day symposium explores the historical link between lynching and the death penalty and the enduring role of lynching and race discrimination in contemporary capital litigation.

Location: Connally Center for Justice (CCJ), Eidman Courtroom 2.306
Admission: Free and open to the public; advance registration recommended
URL: http://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/capitalpunishment/lynching.html

Symposium Information:

Symposium registration and general contact:

The conference is free, but space is limited. To register for the conference and for additional information, contact Rachel Sidopulos, Center Administrator, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, at rsidopulos@law.utexas.edu, (512) 232-6277 (phone).

 

Sponsored by:

CPC Logo

Presented by:

WWJC Logo

Student Organization Sponsors:
The American Journal of Criminal Law
Chicano/Hispanic Law Students’ Association
Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
The Thurgood Marshall Legal Society

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