Texas is planning to carry out the second of its four scheduled June executions today, Wednesday June 15, when John Balentine is scheduled for execution. If the execution is not stayed, Balentine will be the fifth person executed in Texas in 2011 and the 469th person executed in Texas since 1982. He will be the 230th person executed in Texas since Rick Perry became governor.
|2010 March to Abolish the Death Penalty|
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. To see photos and videos of past marches visit www.marchforabolition.org.
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 former death row 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.
|Sister of Carlos De Luna Delivers Letter
for Governor Rick Perry at 7th Annual March in 2006
|Ross Byrd at
March to Abolish the Death Penalty in 2002
The Wall Street Journal reported in 2002 that Jasper County had to raise property taxes by 6.7% over two years to pay for the death penalty trials.
One of three men convicted for their involvement in the infamous East Texas dragging death slaying 13 years ago has received an execution date.
A state district judge signed an order Tuesday setting Sept. 21 as the date 44-year-old Lawrence Russell Brewer gets lethal injection in Huntsville for killing James Byrd, said Laroni Gray with the Jasper County district attorney’s office.
Brewer was among three white men convicted of chaining the 49-year-old black man to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him to death on a country road near Jasper, about 115 miles northeast Houston.
Brewer and John William King were convicted and sentenced to die for the June 1998 racial hate crime that shocked the nation for its brutality. King’s case remains in the courts on appeal. The third man, Shawn Berry, received life in prison.
2002 March to Abolish the Death Penalty at Texas Capitol in Austin
Speakers from different backgrounds speak out at third annual rally
By Katherine Sayre (Daily Texan Staff)
October 14, 2002
Jeanette Popp wants the man who raped and killed her daughter to live.
Popp told her story of advocating a life sentence for Achim Josef Marino, the man who murdered her daughter in 1988, to a crowd of about 200 protesters demanding a moratorium on capital punishment at the state Capitol Saturday afternoon.
“I saved [Marino’s] life, and I saved my daughter’s honor,” Popp said Saturday. “They will not kill in her name.”
Popp’s voice rang out over a crowd gathered on the Capitol grounds after protesters marched from Republic Park to the Capital chanting “No Justice, No Peace – Moratorium Now.” The third annual rally against the death penalty included speakers representing a range of issues surrounding capital punishment.
Renny Cushing, executive director of Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation, said that contrary to popular belief, many murder victims’ families oppose the death penalty.
“We’ve come to oppose the death penalty because of what it does to us and to society as a whole … a ritual killing just expands the scope of pain,” Cushing said.
He said that many families find their love for the victim is questioned after speaking out against capital punishment. He said Texas’ Bill of Rights for Crime Victims should be amended to prevent families from being discriminated against during trials. The bill is a set of legal guidelines that allows a victim and his/her family certain protection rights and involvement in a criminal proceeding.
“It’s about no more victims – anywhere,” he said.
Ross Byrd, the son of James Byrd Jr. who was murdered in Jasper in 1998, said executions by the state are murder.
“The death penalty is all wrong,” Byrd said. “It goes against God, and God said ‘thou shalt not kill’ … Thou shalt not kill and that’s even for the justice system.”
Francisco Javier Alejo, consulate general of Mexico, spoke on the Capitol steps about Mexico’s opposition to capital punishment.
Alejo said that while Mexico respects the United States government’s right to make independent decisions, Mexico also asks for the same respect.
“We fully respect that as well, as we expect to be respected for our full and adamant opposition to the death penalty,” he said, adding that Mexico regards the death penalty as “abominable.”
Texas is planning to carry out the first of its four scheduled June executions on Wednesday June 1 when Gayland Bradford is scheduled for execution. Bradford lost an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court last week. If the execution is not stayed, Bradford will be the fourth person executed in Texas in 2011 and the 468th person executed in Texas since 1982. He will be the 229th person executed in Texas since Rick Perry became governor.
To express your opposition to Gayland Bradford’s execution and to state your opinion on the Texas death penalty, call Governor Rick Perry at 512-463-2000.
Rick Perry is considering running for president of the United States. Perry’s death penalty enthusiasm will probably be a liability for him in many parts of the country where the governor is expected to exercise his executive powers in a more responsible manner than Perry did in the case of Todd Willingham.
Bradford was scheduled to be executed on October 14, 2010, but he received a stay of execution. Bradford was convicted of the shooting death of 29-year-old Brian Williams during a robbery of a food store in Dallas.
June Executions Scheduled in Texas
On June 1, Gayland Bradford is scheduled for execution.
On June 15, John Balentine is scheduled for execution.
On June 16, Taylor Lee is scheduled for execution.
On June 21, Milton Mathis is scheduled for execution.
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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