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.
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.