Barbara Lewis – Mother of Delaware former death row prisoner Robert Gattis, whose 1992 death sentence was commuted to life in prison without parole in January 2012.
Texas has the highest number of executions of any state in the country. With that in mind, hundreds of protestors took the streets of Austin to make a change, but not everyone is happy to see them there.
Hundreds marched through downtown Saturday, protesting the death penalty and the governor they say supports it.
Marchers chanted, “Rick Perry you can’t hide! We charge you with homicide!”
“We just saw the 250th execution under Governor Perry and that includes some controversial executions,” said organizer, Lily Hughes.
Protestors allege that innocent people have been executed in Texas during recent years and brought up controversial executions like that of Cameron Todd Willingham. Willingham has already been executed, but family is trying to exonerate him from charges that he murdered his three young children. Protesters are also hoping to stop future executions like that of Darlie Routier, the Rowlett, TX mother convicted of murdering her two children in 1996. Her family is reportedly working to retest forensic evidence that they say will prove Routier’s innocence.
I’m telling you this could happen to you. If your children or anybody dies in your home, your grand kids die in your home, do not for a minute think they’re not going to accuse you,” said Sarilda Routier, Darlie Routier’s former mother-in-law.
The march will be led by 4 death row survivors who each spent many years on death rows around the U.S. for crimes they did not commit. The 4 exonerees are coming to Texas as members of Witness to Innocence, which is the nation’s only organization composed of, by and for exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones. These individuals are actively engaged in the struggle to end the death penalty, challenging the American public to grapple with the problem of a fatally flawed criminal justice system that sends innocent people to death row.
Support Todd Willingham’s family as they request a pardon for Todd. Call Texas Governor Perry to urge him to pardon Todd Willingham. Say something along the lines of “I’m calling to ask Governor Perry to posthumously pardon Cameron Todd Willingham. Todd was wrongfully executed–despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence–by Texas in 2004, and his final wish was that his name be cleared.”
Call Governor Perry: the number is 512-463-2000.
A petition to Texas Governor Rick Perry and to the State of Texas to acknowledge that the fire in the Cameron Todd Willingham case was not arson, therefore no crime was committed and on February 17, 2004, Texas wrongfully executed an innocent man.
Texas Moratorium Network (TMN) is a non-profit organization with the primary goal of mobilizing statewide support for a moratorium on executions in Texas. Significant death penalty reform in Texas, including a moratorium on executions, is a viable goal if the public is educated on the death penalty system and is encouraged to contact their elected representatives to urge passage of moratorium legislation.
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