Upcoming Executions
Click for a list of upcoming scheduled executions in Texas.
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.
Ron Keine and Rep Harold Dutton at 2011 Day of Innocence

Ron Keine and Rep Harold Dutton at 2011 Day of Innocence

The 2015 Statewide Texas Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty is Tuesday, March 3, 2015. 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, Shujaa Graham, Clarence Brandley, and Sabrina Butler from Witness to Innocence. They and other death row exonerees will be honored with a resolution by the Texas House of Representatives.

Three ways you can participate in the Lobby day:

1) Come to Austin and attend the Lobby day in person.

2) If you can not come to Austin, you can still participate in the Statewide Call-in Day to Abolish the Death Penalty by calling your legislators March 3 and urging them to abolish the death penalty.

3) Or visit the local district office of your legislators and tell the district coordinator to deliver your message to the legislator.

People from across Texas will come to the Capitol in Austin to advocate for a bill to abolish the death penalty in Texas (HB 1032 filed by State Rep Harold Dutton), as well as a bill that would prohibit death sentences for people convicted under the Law of Parties even though they did not kill anyone (HB 341 by Rep Dutton). We will also lobby to build support to stop the scheduled execution of Rodney Reed now set for March 5.

In the past, our Lobby Day resulted in several legislators signing on to support the bills we lobbied for. We expect the same success in 2015.

This will be a day we will always remember, a day when we stand side by side with innocent people who were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death.

Register for the Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty. You can also just show up without registering, but if you register, then we know how many people are coming and we can plan appointments with legislators. Please be sure to dress professionally. Dress as if you’re heading to a job interview. Register Now!

If you can not attend the Lobby Day, you can still help by making a donation (not tax-deductible). Also on March 3, even if you are not in Austin at the Lobby Day, you can participate in the Statewide Call-in Day to Abolish the Death Penalty. Find out who represents you, then call your Texas legislators and let them know your position on the death penalty and urge them to support the bill to repeal the death penalty. Call the members of the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and urge them to schedule a hearing on the bill to repeal the death penalty. One of our goals of Lobby Day is to convince the committee to hold a hearing on the abolition bill.

Tentative Schedule of the 2015 Statewide Texas Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty

9-11 AM  Check-in and meet for a training session on how to lobby. Afterwards begin office visits to lobby legislators. Room E2.022 in the Capitol. Take the elevator down to level E2.

11 AM Go to the viewing area above the House floor to watch the exonerees honored by the Texas House with a resolution sponsored by Rep. Dutton.

Noon  Press Conference in the Speaker’s Committee Room (2W.6). Special guests include State Rep. Harold Dutton, author of a bill to abolish the death penalty in Texas, and several death row exonerees, including Ron Keine, Shujaa Graham, Clarence Brandley, and Sabrina Butler. Other guests to be announced.

1 PM   Lunch at your own expense in the Capitol cafeteria.

2-5:00 More lobbying visits to legislative offices.

5:00 PM Meet in the Capitol cafeteria to share stories about what everyone learned during the legislative lobbying visits.

Parking is available in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage at 1201 San Jacinto located between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th Streets. Parking is free for the first two hours and $1.00 for each half hour thereafter (maximum daily charge: $8.00); accessible parking is available with accessible routes to the Capitol.The Statewide Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty has been organized since 2003 by several organizations working together, the same ones who also organize the annual “March to Abolish the Death Penalty” each October: Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, and Students Against the Death Penalty.

 Organizations that would like to participate or co-sponsor the Lobby Day can email admin@texasmoratorium.org or call 512-961-6389.
Call the members of the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and urge them to schedule a hearing on HB 1032, the bill to abolish the death penalty.
Position Member
Chair: Rep. Abel Herrero  email (512) 463-0462
Vice Chair: Rep. Joe Moody email  (512) 463-0728
Members: Rep. Terry Canales   email   (512) 463-0426
Rep. Terry Canales   email    (512) 463-0426
Rep. Todd Hunter    email    (512) 463-0672
Rep. Jeff Leach      email    (512) 463-0544
Rep. Matt Shaheen    email     (512) 463-0594
Rep. David Simpson   email   (512) 463-0750

Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston today filed HB 1032, a bill to abolish the death penalty in Texas.

Rep Dutton first filed a bill to abolish the death penalty in 2003, which was the first abolition bill filed in the Texas Legislature in a long time up to that year. When no one else was willing to file a bill to abolish the death penalty, Rep Dutton stepped up in 2003 and filed an abolition bill. Everyone opposed to the death penalty should thank Rep Dutton for his leading role in the effort in the Texas Legislature to end the death penalty.

It was an exciting day back in 2003 when Dutton’s abolition bill was heard in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. That was the first time an abolition bill was heard in a Texas legislative Committee in the modern era, and maybe ever.

Rep Harold Dutton is pictured speaking at one of our Day of Innocence Lobby Days to Repeal the Death Penalty.

Below Rep Dutton speaks at the 2011 Day of Innocence. Behind him are six death row exonerees who spent years on death row for crimes they did not commit.



SCN_0284Arnold Prieto, 41, is scheduled today to be the first person executed under Governor Greg Abbott. Arnold is a frequent contributor to the blog minutesbeforesix.blogspot.com, where you can learn about him in his own words. He is deserving of a commutation to life in prison, so call Gov Abbott and urge him to stop today’s execution:
(512) 463-2000.

by Arnold Prieto
September 10th, 2014 12:48am

Normally I would be fast asleep during these wee hours of the morning, but instead I find myself typing out my following thoughts to you. My night lamp is my only source of light, beaming down from its perch over my head on my shelf, while the silence is booming its loudness throughout this tomb all around me. I can hear someone’s radio so softly that it gets lost in the silence and making it sound so small compared to it …..

Count time will be called out within the next couple of seconds and the locking mechanism of the crash gate leading into the death watch section will break the silence with its loud metal on metal clanging sound. Soon, there will be a flash of light piercing our dark cages. Well, semi-dark in my case, as if a lightening bolt struck within our walls. The loud silence will once again reclaim its rightful place as the thundering of closing doors echoes out with the guards passing through the tomb with their infernal light.

Within that silence, I can hear the whooshing sound of Father Time’s heavy pendulum swinging with every passing second ….. tick.tick.tick.tick.tick.

txdrowTexas executed 805 people from 1930 through 2013, more than 300 more people than the second place state. If you only count the executions since 1977, considered the modern period, Texas leads by almost 400 executions.

Table 14. Executions, by jurisdiction, 1930–2013
Jurisdiction Since 1930 Since 1977

U.S. total 5,218 1,359
Texas 805 508
Georgia 419 53
New York 329 0
North Carolina 306 43
California 305 13
Florida 251 81
Ohio 224 52
South Carolina 205 43
Virginia 202 110
Alabama 191 56
Mississippi 175 21
Oklahoma 168 108
Louisiana 161 28
Pennsylvania 155 3
Arkansas 145 27
Missouri 132 70
Kentucky 106 3
Illinois 102 12
Tennessee 99 6
Arizona 74 36
New Jersey 74 0
Maryland 73 5
Indiana 61 20
Washington 52 5
Colorado 48 1
Nevada 41 12
Dist. Columbia 40 0
West Virginia 40 0
Federal system 36 3
Delaware 28 16
Massachusetts 27 0
Connecticut 22 1
Oregon 21 2
Utah 20 7
Iowa 18 0
Kansas 15 0
Montana 9 3
New Mexico 9 1
Wyoming 8 1
Nebraska 7 3
Idaho 6 3
South Dakota 4 3
Vermont 4 0
New Hampshire 1 0
Note: Statistics on executions under civil authority have been collected by the federal government annually since 1930. Excludes 160 executions carried out by military authorities be
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Prisoner Statistics Program (NPS-8), 2013.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
Table 14. Executions, by jurisdiction, 1930–2013
Report title: Capital Punishment, 2013 – Statistical Tables NCJ 248448

Rick-Perry-Texas-GovernorThe last execution under Rick Perry has been stayed because Perry will be out of the state next week. 279 people were put to death during Perry’s tenure as governor, including Todd Willingham, who was innocent.

Richard Vasquez had been scheduled for lethal injection Jan. 15. Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka said Monday the state attorney general’s office requested the delay because the governor would be out of the state that day.

The first execution under incoming Governor-elect Greg Abbott is set for the day after his inauguration. Abbott takes office Jan 20, his first execution is Jan 21.

From KWTX.com:

The execution of a Corpus Christi man set for next week for the beating death of his 4-year-old stepdaughter nearly 17 years ago has been rescheduled for April.

Richard Vasquez, 35, was scheduled to receive a lethal injection on Jan. 15 for the March 1998 death of Miranda Nicole Lopez, but a state district judge in Nueces County reset the punishment for April 23 at the request of the Attorney General’s Office because the governor would be out of the state that day, Vasquez’s lawyer, Andrew Edison, said.

Vasquez contended the child fell from a stool in a bathroom while brushing her teeth and injured her head, but evidence showed she had suffered far more serious injuries.

Vasquez is among 13 Texas death row inmates set to die in the next several months, including three who are scheduled for execution later this month.

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