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.

Martin Robles is scheduled for execution Wednesday August 10 in Texas. UPDATE: Robles was executed.

Call Governor Rick Perry to voice your opposition 512 463 2000.

The lethal injection of Martin Robles would be the ninth this year in Texas, the 473rd since Texas resumed executions in 1982 and the 234th since Governor Rick Perry took office in 2000.

Robles’ appeals were exhausted and no late attempts to put off the punishment were in the courts Tuesday, the Texas attorney general’s office said.

Exonerated Death Row survivors from seven states will be taking their powerful message against the death penalty across Texas from October 12th through 19th. They will also be rallying support for the 12th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty in Austin, TX on October 22.

 Witness to Innocence is the nation’s only organization composed of, by and for exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones. Witness to Innocence members bring a human face to the death penalty, illuminating the unfairness and immorality of capital punishment.

To invite the Texas WTI Freedom Ride to stop in your community, contact Hooman Hedayati at hooman@witnesstoinnocence.org or (210)601-7231, or visit www.witnesstoinnocence.org.

March to Abolish the Death Penalty:

Each October since 2000, Texans and their supporters have gathered in Austin to oppose the death penalty. Once again in 2011, activists, family members of people on death row, community leaders, exonerated former prisoners, family members of murder victims, leaders of faith communities and all those calling for repeal of the Texas death penalty will come together at the Texas Capitol. Join us! Visit marchforabolition.org for more information and to sign on as a sponsor of the 12th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty.  Come help build the statewide coalition that will eventually repeal the death penalty in Texas.

The 12th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty will be held in Austin on October 22,2011 at the Texas Capitol. Join the Facebook event page. Each October 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 prisoners 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 in 2009 and 2010.

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 Austin chapter of 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.

Help stop today’s execution in Texas of Mark Stroman! Call Rick Perry today at 512 463 2000 and urge him to listen to Stroman’s lone surviving shooting victim Rais Bhuiyan and Stop the Execution of Mark Stroman. Bhuiyan is fighting to stop the execution. You can join the fight too with a phone call of less than 60 seconds.

Please contact Texas Governor Rick Perry to urge him to grant a stay of execution to Mark Stroman, who is scheduled for execution Wednesday, July 20.  
Rais Bhuiyan, who survived being shot in the face by Mark Stroman, is urging Perry to stop the execution. Bhuiyan has also filed a still-pending lawsuit to stop the execution. The lawsuit will be heard Wednesday morning. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has already refused to recommend clemency.

 Watch a video of Rais Bhuiyan explaining why he does not want Mark Stroman executed.

Call Governor Perry at 512 463 2000.

Someone will answer the phone during office hours. If you call after office hours, you can leave a message.

You can also contact Perry by email using a form on his website, although calling on the phone may make a more immediate impact. You can also both call and email.

If you are in Austin, come to the Texas Capitol at 11th and Congress on Wednesday, July 20 at 5:30 PM to protest the scheduled execution of Mark Stroman and show your support for Rais Bhuiyan.  (Facebook event page)

If you are in Dallas, there will be a silent vigil at 5:30 PM on the sidewalk in front of the Frank Crowley Court House, 133 N Riverfront St. (Facebook event page)

Stroman, 41, said he went on a shooting spree in the weeks following the 2001 attacks targeting people of Middle East descent, claiming it was a patriotic response to terrorism. Two men were killed and a third was wounded. Stroman is scheduled for lethal injection Wednesday evening in Huntsville.

In an unusual step, the lone shooting survivor, Rais Bhuiyan, a native of Bangladesh, has asked the courts to halt the execution. In a lawsuit, he argues that his religious beliefs as a Muslim told him to forgive Stroman. He also wants to spend time with the convict to learn more about why the shootings occurred.

Juror now opposes execution of Stroman

“I made a wrong decision,” said the North Texas woman, who doesn’t want her last name used.

The woman was part of the Dallas County jury panel in 2002 that gave the self-proclaimed, “Arab Slayer”, Mark Stroman the death penalty for a killing spree after 9/11 that left two store clerks dead.

“We should not have given him death.”

Jennifer says prosecutors neglected to tell jurors that the families Stroman destroyed with his violent rampage did not support sending him to death row.

“We were under the impression that the families wanted the death penalty, so even though I didn’t fully support it, I let that pressure me into the decision.”

Jennifer has since learned, the sole survivor in the case, Rais Bhuiyan did not support execution for Stroman. Bhuiyan was shot in the face and blinded in one eye by Stroman. Even so, he has been waging a battle to save the killer’s life and asking for a face-to-face meeting.

“I would love to give him a hug and say I never hated him,” said the Bangladeshi immigrant, who is now a naturalized citizen.

The text below is from an editorial in the Dallas Morning News:
As for the question of whether Stroman should live or die, Bhuiyan has an extraordinary position on that, too: He wants his attacker’s life spared to end the cycle of hatred, violence and death and to afford Stroman the chance to rehabilitate and renounce hate.

Bhuiyan says he has the support of the families of the two men who were fatally shot, Waqar Hasan, originally of Pakistan, and Vasudev Patel, of India.

Think about it: three industrious immigrants working hard to support their families or advance their education. They are targeted by a vicious ex-con out to purify the country of outsiders. Now those hurt by this crime seek to drop the quest for retribution.

Retribution, in fact, is one element of the death penalty that the Supreme Court has cited in allowing its use. With the victims of the Stroman spree now dropping the demand for retribution — vengeance, essentially — the state is left alone in seeking it. Moral authority, though, has fallen away.

This newspaper is opposed to all capital punishment because justice will never be air tight and the punishment is irrevocable, unevenly applied and of questionable deterrent value.

Bhuiyan opposes it for far more personal reasons. It’s hard to fathom how he goes out of his way to find redeeming value in the criminal who shot him, but he says his attacker has the capacity to become an evangelist for healing.

Stroman appears to have accepted responsibility for the killings, at least in entries on a blog that supporters help him maintain. His motives and level of remorse are fair game, and people have every right and reason for skepticism.

Bhuiyan has every right and reason to meet with Stroman and judge for himself.

Rais Bhuiyan (photos below) has said this about the man who shot him in the face:

I forgave [Mark] Stroman many years ago. In fact, I have never hated him. I never hated America for what happened to me. I believe he was ignorant and not capable of distinguishing between right and wrong; otherwise, he wouldn’t have done what he did.

Thank you,

Your friends at Texas Moratorium Network

Rais Bhuiyan

Please contact Governor Rick Perry to urge him to grant a stay of execution to Mark Stroman, who is scheduled for execution Wednesday, July 20. Rais Bhuiyan , who survived being shot by Mark Stroman is urging that Stroman not be executed.

Call Governor Perry at 512 463 2000. You can also use Perry’s website contact form, or better yet, both call and email.

They will answer the phone during office hours. If you call after office hours, you can leave a message.

Come to the Texas Capitol at 11th and Congress on Wednesday, July 20 at 5:30 PM to protest the scheduled execution of Mark Stroman.

Urge Governor Perry to grant a stay of execution for Mark Stroman.

Just 10 days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Rais Bhuiyan was working at a gas station in Dallas when he was shot in the face by a man named Mark Stroman.

Stroman was on a shooting spree, targeting people who appeared to be Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent. Stroman is due to be executed July 20; Bhuiyan, the only survivor of the attacks, is fighting to save his life.

When Stroman entered the gas station, Bhuiyan initially thought it was a routine robbery.

“I opened the cash register, offered him the cash, and requested him not to shoot me,” Bhuiyan tells weekends on All Things Considered host Laura Sullivan. “In reply he asked me, ‘Where are you from?’ And the question seemed strange to ask during a robbery. And I said, ‘Excuse me?’ And as soon as I spoke, I felt the sensation of a million bees stinging my face, and then heard an explosion.”

Bhuiyan required medical attention for years after the attack. The bullet hit him on the right side of the face, leaving severe injuries, particularly to his right eye.

“I had to go through several surgeries and finally the doctor could save the eye, but the vision is gone, and I’m still carrying more than 35 pellets on the right side of my face,” he says. “Once I touch my face, my skull, I can feel it’s all bumpy. It took several years to go through all these painful surgeries one after another one.”

From CBS News:

Less than a week before convicted killer Mark Anthony Stroman is scheduled for execution, one of his victims is suing Texas Governor Rick Perry in effort to save the life of the man who tried to take his during a spree of hate crimes following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“Please do the right thing, save a human life, please,” Rais Bhuiyan said from the steps of the Travis County Courthouse Thursday, according to CBS affiliate KTVT.

Bhuiyan, a devout Muslim, begged for mercy for Stroman, a death row inmate who shot him in 2001, leaving him partially blind.

“Please, listen to my request and lower Mark’s punishment from death to life in prison,” he said, “If the Governor of Texas and the Board of Pardons and Parole can listen to the victims when they want revenge, why can they not listen when the victims are asking for mercy?”

Stroman was convicted of killing an Islamic man in the months following the September 11, 2001 attacks, but according to police, he also killed a second man and shot Bhuiyan, who was working at a convenience store in southeastern Dallas. According to KTVT, all the victims were from India and Pakistan.

Stroman believed the U.S. government “hadn’t done their job so he was going to do it for them” and retaliate for the terrorist attacks, according to The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“September 11th did a horrible thing not just to the U.S. but to the world, this is a time we can take a new narrative, a narrative of forgiveness, compassion, tolerance and healing,” Bhuiyan said. “I never hated him, I was never angry at him, rather I understand what he did was out of ignorance.”

TribLive: A Conversation About Cameron Todd Willingham from texastribune on Vimeo.

After a recent screening of “Incendiary: The Willingham Case”, Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith talked about the science of fire and death penalty politics with the filmmakers, Steve Mims and Joe Bailey Jr.; former Forensic Science Commission Chairman Sam Bassett; former Texas Gov. Mark White; and acting Corsicana City Attorney Terry Jacobson.

Click here to watch the panel discussion. Former Texas Governor Mark White makes some good points during the discussion.

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