Rep Dutton of Houston has filed a bill (HB 809) to enact a moratorium on executions and create a commission to study the administration of the death penalty in Texas.
Since the last regular session of the Legislature there have been two new cases brought to light in which it appears that an innocent person was executed by Texas: Ruben Cantu and Carlos DeLuna. A third case in which an innocent person may have been executed, Cameron Todd Willingham, was first reported on by the Chicago Tribune in November 2004.
A moratorium on executions has been endorsed by the following media outlets in Texas: Abilene Reporter-News, Austin American-Statesman, Bryan-College Station Eagle, Corpus Christi-Caller-Times, Dallas Morning News (several times), El Paso Times (only endorsed allowing voters to decide in a constitutional amendment), Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Galveston County Daily News, Houston Chronicle, KPRC Channel 2 NBC Houston, San Antonio Express News, Victoria Advocate, Wichita Falls Times Record News.
The El Paso County Commissioners Court passed a resolution calling for a moratorium last October. The Travis County Commissioners Court has also passed a moratorium resolution.
On March 13, 2007, there will be a Death Penalty Issues Lobby Day at the capitol and a rally for a moratorium on executions will be held on the South steps of the capitol.
Rep Dutton speaking in favor of a moratorium at the 2005 Death Penalty Issues Lobby Day Rally
State Senator Leticia Van De Putte calling for a moratorium at Death Penalty Issues Lobby Day in 2005