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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

And the Profile in Courage should go to ... Senator Rodney Ellis


"The Texas Senate on Tuesday passed its version of "Jessica's Law," a get-tough measure on sexual predators that includes a possible death penalty for those who are twice convicted of raping children under 14", reports the AP.

As soon as I read the news that Senator Rodney Ellis was the lone person to vote against "Jessica's Law" in the senate because it expanded the death penalty, I thought of the book "Profiles in Courage". Turns out, in addition to the book, there is an actual annual award.

Given his safe district, I doubt if Ellis' career is at risk because of this vote, although you could argue that it is a courageous vote if he has any statewide ambitions. Maybe someone should nominate Sen. Ellis for next year's award. How to Submit a Nomination.

More from the AP story:

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, the only dissenter in the 30-1 vote, questioned whether the state should expand death row at a time when post-conviction DNA testing has exonerated people who went to prison for crimes they did not commit.

Just two weeks ago, the Senate hosted two men who served 27 years in prison for sexual assault but were later cleared by DNA testing.

"All of us have to make tough choices, but at some point we have to decide where do we draw the line on something that's politically right but morally wrong," Ellis said. "I'm for the death penalty, but I think it would be nice if we had a system where we got the right one."
President John F. Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer prize-winning book, "Profiles in Courage", recounts the stories of eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions.

According to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
The Profile in Courage Award seeks to make Americans aware of the conscientious and courageous acts of their public servants, and to encourage elected officials to choose principles over partisanship – to do what is right, rather than what is expedient.

The award is presented annually to a public official or officials at the federal, state or local level whose actions best demonstrate the qualities of political courage described in Profiles in Courage.

The Profile in Courage Award is administered by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. A distinguished bipartisan committee named by the Foundation reviews all nominations, and selects the recipient or recipients of the award.

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TMN Art Show Artist Jasmin Hilmer's Artwork Chosen for Book Cover


Jasmin Hilmer's "The End", which was one of the artworks in Texas Moratorium Network's art show "Justice for All?: Artists Reflect on the Death Penalty" has been selected as the cover art for an upcoming book on the death penalty. Congratulations Jasmin!

The book, by Alan W. Clarke and Laurelyn Whitt, is titled "The Bitter Fruit of American Justice: International and Domestic Resistance to the Death Penalty." It argues that executions in the U.S. have far-reaching effects on relationships between the U.S. and other countries worldwide. It should come out in Fall 2007.

Jasmin's CV

Here is an audio of Alan Clarke speaking on international death penalty law.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Report: lethal injections probably cause slow and painful deaths

The drugs used to execute prisoners in the United States sometimes fail to work as planned, causing slow and painful deaths that probably violate constitutional bans on cruel and unusual punishment, a new medical review of dozens of executions concludes, according to an AP story.

The report concludes "our findings suggest that current lethal injection protocols may not reliably effect death through the mechanisms intended, indicating a failure of design and implementation. If thiopental and potassium chloride fail to cause anesthesia and cardiac arrest, potentially aware inmates could die through pancuronium-induced asphyxiation. Thus the conventional view of lethal injection leading to an invariably peaceful and painless death is questionable."

Below are some executions in Texas that had problems.

1. March 13, 1985. Texas. Stephen Peter Morin. Lethal Injection. Because of Morin's history of drug abuse, the execution technicians were forced to probe both of Morin's arms and one of his legs with needles for nearly 45 minutes before they found a suitable vein.

2. August 20, 1986. Texas. Randy Woolls. Lethal Injection. A drug addict, Woolls helped the execution technicians find a useable vein for the execution.

3. June 24, 1987. Texas. Elliot Rod Johnson. Lethal Injection. Because of collapsed veins, it took nearly an hour to complete the execution.

4. December 13, 1988. Texas. Raymond Landry. Lethal Injection. Pronounced dead 40 minutes after being strapped to the execution gurney and 24 minutes after the drugs first started flowing into his arms. Two minutes after the drugs were administered, the syringe came out of Landry's vein, spraying the deadly chemicals across the room toward witnesses. The curtain separating the witnesses from the inmate was then pulled, and not reopened for fourteen minutes while the execution team reinserted the catheter into the vein. Witnesses reported "at least one groan." A spokesman for the Texas Department of Correction, Charles Brown (sic), said, "There was something of a delay in the execution because of what officials called a 'blowout.' The syringe came out of the vein, and the warden ordered the (execution) team to reinsert the catheter into the vein."

5. May 24, 1989. Texas. Stephen McCoy. Lethal Injection. He had such a violent physical reaction to the drugs (heaving chest, gasping, choking, back arching off the gurney, etc.) that one of the witnesses (male) fainted, crashing into and knocking over another witness. Houston attorney Karen Zellars, who represented McCoy and witnessed the execution, thought the fainting would catalyze a chain reaction. The Texas Attorney General admitted the inmate "seemed to have a somewhat stronger reaction," adding "The drugs might have been administered in a heavier dose or more rapidly."

6. April 23, 1992. Texas. Billy Wayne White. Lethal Injection. White was pronounced dead some 47 minutes after being strapped to the execution gurney. The delay was caused by difficulty finding a vein; White had a long history of heroin abuse. During the execution, White attempted to assist the authorities in finding a suitable vein.

7. May 7, 1992. Texas. Justin Lee May. Lethal Injection. May had an unusually violent reaction to the lethal drugs. According to one reporter who witnessed the execution, May "gasped, coughed and reared against his heavy leather restraints, coughing once again before his body froze ..." Associated Press reporter Michael Graczyk wrote, "Compared to other recent executions in Texas, May's reaction was more violent. He went into a coughing spasm, groaned and gasped, lifted his head from the death chamber gurney and would have arched his back if he had not been belted down. After he stopped breathing, his eyes and mouth remained open."

8. April 23, 1998. Texas. Joseph Cannon. Lethal Injection. It took two attempts to complete the execution. After making his final statement, the execution process began. A vein in Cannon's arm collapsed and the needle popped out. Seeing this, Cannon lay back, closed his eyes, and exclaimed to the witnesses, "It's come undone." Officials then pulled a curtain to block the view of the witnesses, reopening it fifteen minutes later when a weeping Cannon made a second final statement and the execution process resumed.

9. August 26, 1998. Texas. Genaro Ruiz Camacho. Lethal Injection. The execution was delayed approximately two hours due, in part, to problems finding suitable veins in Camacho's arms.

10. December 7, 2000. Texas. Claude Jones. Jones was a former intravenous drug abuser. His execution was delayed 30 minutes while the execution "team" struggled to insert an IV into a vein. He had been a longtime intravenous drug user. One member of the execution team commented, "They had to stick him about five times. They finally put it in his leg." Wrote Jim Willett, the warden of the Walls Unit and the man responsible for conducting the execution, "The medical team could not find a vein. Now I was really beginning to worry. If you can't stick a vein then a cut-down has to be performed. I have never seen one and would just as soon go through the rest of my career the same way. Just when I was really getting worried, one of the medical people hit a vein in the left leg. Inside calf to be exact. The executioner had warned me not to panic as it was going to take a while to get the fluids in the body of the inmate tonight because he was going to push the drugs through very slowly. Finally, the drug took effect and Jones took his last breath."

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Senator Russ Feingold Responds to Dallas Morning News

Re: "Death no more – We cannot support a system that is both imperfect and irreversible," April 15 Editorials.

I applaud The Dallas Morning News. As the editorial points out, the death penalty is "both imperfect and irreversible," which has led to wrenching cases of innocent people being released from death row and the strong possibility that innocent men have been put to death.

Years of study have shown that the death penalty does little to deter crime and that defendants' likelihood of being sentenced to death depends heavily on whether they are rich or poor and the race of their victims.

Fortunately, there also have been signs of progress. Governors who oppose capital punishment have been elected in several states, including Virginia and Maryland. Executions in 2006 were at a 10-year low. And legislators have mounted serious efforts to abolish the death penalty in Maryland, Montana, Nebraska and New Mexico.

Those actions and your call to abolish the death penalty are signs that we are getting closer to a time when we can end capital punishment and restore some measure of fairness and integrity to our criminal justice system.

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., Washington

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CEDP Happy Hour tomorrow!

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is hosting a happy hour for Rodney Reed tomorrow, Monday, April 23, at 7:00pm at Double Dave's, on Duval near the intersection of Duval and San Jacinto on the north side of the UT campus.

Rodney Reed is an innocent man on Texas' death row. He was wrongly convicted in Bastrop County of the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites. The pattern of police and prosecutorial misconduct,existing physical evidence not heard at trial, and the overall racist tone of Rodney's trial cast strong doubt on Rodney's guilt. CEDP is working together right now with Rodney's family, Texas death penalty abolition groups, and other community organizations to call for a new trial for Rodney Reed at which all the evidence of his innocence can be presented. You can learn more and sign a petition calling for a new trial at www.freerodneyreed.org.

Roderick Reed, one of Rodney's brothers, and Bryce Benjet, one of Rodney's attorneys, will be there to discuss the case, Rodney's innocence, and how the public can help win justice for Rodney Reed. Please join us for this important, informative, and fun event! Beer, pizza, and other refreshments will be available.

Stefanie Collins
For more information, email stfcollins@yahoogroups.com or call 512-784-8550.



Justice for Rodney Reed -- an innocent man on Texas' death row
www.freerodneyreed.org

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

All Life Is Precious Ministries:Ryan Dickson Special Shout Out Show

On Wednesday April 25th All Life Is Precious Ministries will hold a Special Shout Out Show for Ryan Dickson who is scheduled to be executed on Thursday April 26th.
Ryans Special Shout Out Show will start at 7pm central standard time on Wednesday.

You are able to send in email messages for Ryan to the following address: alp@alllifeisprecious.org or you may call in and go live on the air by dialing 936-327-5160.
Remember, unlike our Sunday Shout Shows we are not able to do pre-recorded messages. Please call in live or send an email message to Ryan.

For email messages, please put Ryan Dickson and special shout out show in the subject line.

I personally cannot imagine what Ryan Dickson will be thinking the night before he is scheduled to be executed, but what I do know is we can all help Ryan by sending him messages of encouragement and support.

Let’s all come together and support Ryan by letting him know he is not alone!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself (Danielle) or All Life Is Precious Ministries.






Click the "All Life is Precious Ministries" graphic above to launch the web radio. The Shout Out Show for the inmates of Texas Death Row, and General Population, is broadcast live every Sunday afternoon from 1:00-6:00 pm CST.

For more information or to make a donation to ensure this broadcast is continued please visit:

All Life is Precious Ministries Website

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Moratorium Hearing Next Tuesday, April 24, in House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee at 2 PM

There is a moratorium item on the agenda of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee for next Tuesday, April 24 at 2 PM in E2.016. Unfortunately, so far it is only the constitutional amendment (HJR 23) that would give the governor the power to call a moratorium, which seems unlikely to be a power used by Perry even if he had it. So far, Dutton's moratorium bill, HB 809, which is a much better moratorium bill since it would not require a constitutional amendment and would also create a study commission, is not yet on the agenda. HJR 23 does not have a study commission. Ideally, the committee should hear both bills on the same day.

Duttons's bill is HB 809. Please write a letter to the chair of the committee, Aaron Pena, asking him to add HB 809 to the agenda of the committee meeting by filling out his email form here:

or by using this action alert to send an already written email to Pena laying out the reasons why HB 809 is important.

Everyone who supports a moratorium on executions should plan to come by and sign in in favor of whatever moratorium bill is on the agenda.

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Kerry Cook's Five Flaws in the American Justice System

Kerry Max Cook gave a keynote address at a luncheon held by The Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights on April 17. Texas Moratorium Network was also a financial sponsor helping to bring Kerry to Austin for the event. The Daily Texan says that Kerry listed five flaws in the American justice system that lead to innocent people being wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death as he was.

Cook made the opening address at an annual symposium on civil rights held at the UT School of Law Tuesday. The symposium focused on prison systems in Texas and across the U.S.

"These flaws send innocent men and women to their deaths," said Cook, who wrote a book called "Chasing Justice," addressing his experiences with the legal system.

The first flaw is an error of mistaken identification, and the second is the use of weak inmate testimony by the prosecution, he said. The third flaw is "junk sciences." Cook said this is when the prosecution calls expert witnesses who essentially tailor their findings to remove reasonable doubt and ensure conviction.

The fourth flaw, prosecutorial misconduct, Cook deems the most critical in regards to his own false conviction, he said.

"The reason for that degree of prosecutorial misconduct is that prosecutors enjoy qualified immunity, and in the wrong hands, it becomes nothing short of a license to lie and cheat," he said.

The fifth flaw is ineffective assistance counseling, Cook said, using a comparison between Kmart and Saks Fifth Avenue shoppers to show what having the money to hire the best lawyers can do for someone.

"Money is what determines who lives and dies in this country. The death penalty is not racist; the death penalty targets the poor," Cook said.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Transcript of Live Chat on Death Penalty with Dallas Morning News' Editorial Page Editor

Keven Ann Willey on the DMN Editorial Board's stance on capital punishment (April 16, 2 p.m.)
The DMN Editorial Page Editor takes your questions

moderator: Welcome! Keven Ann Willey is now taking your questions.

moderator: From Scott Cobb: Will the Dallas Morning News be conducting a campaign on its editorial page and online asking its readers to contact their legislators and the governor about stopping executions with a moratorium and creating a study commission to study the death penalty in Texas?
Keven Ann Willey: Urging readers to get involved in this issue will indeed be part of our editorial push on this issue. The only way the Texas Legislature will ever consider a moratorium on - let alone outright abolishment of - the death penalty is if lawmakers hear this desire directly from constituents. Loud and clear.

dommerdog: It seems with DNA science having become what it is to the criminal justice system, we would be more certain that the guilty are not executed, so why use DNA and its exonerations as justification to abolish the death penalty?
Keven Ann Willey: Great question and one that on its face seems quite logical. But think about it more carefully. What have we learned of late, courtesy of DNA technology. We've learned that many folks convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt" of crimes have been found to be not guilty. Such error, in one form another, will likely always be present in any system devised by inherently imperfect human beings. That's why we can no longer support a death penalty system that has been proved to be both imperfect and irreversable.

GreaterGood: If even 1% of persons put to death by the criminal justice system are innocent, how many innocent persons might be killed by any of the other 99% escaping from jail when they have nothing to lose?
Keven Ann Willey: I don't know the empirical answer to this question. But what I do know is what we can control. We can control not to kill that (hypothetical) 1 percent. (By the way, how do you know it's only 1 percent?) I don't know about you, but I don't want society's blood on the hands of even a single innocent being killed by the state. What if that innocent was your loved one? Isn't even the possibility a transgression against the Western moral tradition?

moderator: From Paul Smith: I have been opposed to capital punishment for as long as I can remember. I am thrilled that the DMN editorial board is recommending abolishment of the death penalty in Texas. Having been in the minority on this issue for most of my life, it is gratifying to have a great newspaper do the right thing! What do you think is the probability that the Texas legislators will abolish the death penalty?
Keven Ann Willey: Thank you for your kind words. I invite you to read more background about the Editorial Board's development on this issue on our editorial board blog, called Dallas Morning Views, at dallasnews.com/opinion. With regard to the odds of Texas lawmakers abolishing the death penalty: Next to nill, at least for now. Only thing that will change that is for readers like you to contact them in great numbers and volume to convince them this is what you want. We're not daunted by the odds for change. Sometimes you wage battles knowing full well you'll likely go down to defeat. You wage them anyway because you know in your heart it's the right thing to do.

brb1081: Are there any known instances of innocent people being executed in Texas or nationally?
Keven Ann Willey: There are several known instances of innocent people being sentenced to long terms in prison only to be very-much-later determined to be innocent and thus released. I don't believe there are any proved cases - yet - of an innocent person being executed but it's hardly a stretch. Most disturbing is what we'll probably never know. Take for example the case of Carlos De Luna, which we highlighted in Sunday's lead editorial. Another man with a history of violent crime bragged that he committed the horrific stabbing murder that DeLuna was charged with. The case against DeLuna upon closer examination doesn't stand up, in many people's eyes. but it's too late. DeLuna was executed in 1989. We may never know if that was a mistake. Worse, if it was: There's nothing we can do to correct it.

fettman: I disagree with totally doing away with the death penalty, but I feel that it is a harsh punishment for some crimes and justified in others. What is DMN's stance, however, on the current definition of "life sentence"? How about changing it to life without the possibility of parole?
Keven Ann Willey: We whole-heartedly support life without parole as a sentencing option, and as you may know, the Texas Legislature recently approved this option. It was this fact - plus the mounting DNA concerns - that prompted us to reconsider the paper's historical position on the death penalty. Think about it: Juries now have the option of sentencing the worst criminals to life without parole. So why keep the death penalty, an option three times as expensive and one that we know "beyond a reasonable doubt" is both imperfect and irreversable.

moderator: From Bryan Rutherford: One argument made by anti-death penalty advocates is that the cost of housing an inmate is much less than the cost of litigating the statutory automatic appeal when a jury finds the death penalty is the correct punishment. But, defendants who receive life sentences can and do continue to file subsequent writs of habeas corpus (special appellate proceedings) throughout their lives in prison. How does the cost of handling forty years' worth of writs stack up against the cost of executing an inmate? It seems to me that an execution ends the litigation, whereas life imprisonment promotes litigation fro the remainder of the inmate's life expectancy.
Keven Ann Willey: There are fewer grounds for challenge under life-without-parole sentences. Once a bad guy is sentenced to death, it automatically triggers a set of appealable issues, which can go on for years, decades. In Texas, the cost of the average death penalty case is nearly three times higher than imprisoning someone in maxiumum security for 40 years.

moderator: From j: why does there have to be a collective corporate thought?? That takes away from objective journalism.
Keven Ann Willey: I guess I'm not sure what the reader means by "collective corporate thought." Newspapers from their beginning have been all about promoting change, reform, etc., improving their communities (i.e. opinion). Modern-day newspapers have tended to report the news as objectively as possible in their news pages and segregate the opinion, commentary, perspective pieces in separate Editorial and op-ed pages. The Dallas Morning News has been for more than a century a leading defender of the death penalty and when the latest DNA technology and the Legislature's passage of the life-without-parole option recently prompted us to revisit that support, we felt an obligation to share that reconsideration in some detail with our readers. Rest assured that the news pages of TDMN will continue to cover this topic as objectively as possible, just as they did prior to our editorials yesterday and today.

ellcee: Reality check here. You propose to end the death penalty yet offer no solutions instead. Life without parole. Look at Charles Manson. The State of CA is footing the bill for this guy who likes being in prison once the death penalty was overturned. Yes, the system has flaws. Then fix the flaws. If DNA is the answer to saving innocents of the DP then expand it. Prisons are already overcrowded and I for one do not want to see some of these people on the street again. I ask you the same question--Would you want a loved one to meet them? DNA is good but depending on the context it can only tell if a person was there or not. If there is no DNA sample (and criminals are getting better at not leaving any) then there has to be another way.
Keven Ann Willey: We have presented alternatives. We believe life without parole presents a meaningful alternative to death - which is both imperfect and irreversale. We called this option "death by prison" in today's editorial. Just to be clear, our preference is for lawmakers to abolish the death penalty. But short of that, we've urged at least a temporary moratorium so that the system's flaws can be fully reviewed and corrected. But we've been calling for a moratorium for several years and so far Austin hasn't so much as considered such a thing. As a last resort - or at the very least - as we noted in today's editorial, we believe lawmakers should create a study panel to examine the flaws in the system. We'd view implentation of any of these three ideas as a meaningful step forward.

Dudley Sharp: The evidence is that innocent poepkle are more at risk without the death penalty. Doesn't that do away with your arguement for gettuing rid of it?
Keven Ann Willey: What evidence are you referring to? I'm unfamiliar with this. More important, how is potentially killing an innocent person making society safer? In such a case, the real offender is still walking free. It's even worse, because he's walking free and nobody's looking for him because everybody thinks the state's already got the guy, but it hasn't.

txntx: Have you heard from any other editorial pages in Texas that have told you that they may also soon oppose the death penalty, such as maybe the Houston Chronicle. I know the Austin American Statesman has already written against the death penalty.
Keven Ann Willey: No we haven't. But perhaps we will. I hope so. Interestingly, the Chicago Tribune came out agains the death penalty last month, reversing a long-held position of its own.

moderator: From Bryan Rutherford: The DMN article's first sentence assumes Texas has a "liberal use of the death penalty." Do the statistics bear this out? The anti-death penalty websites make this assumption as well, but do not say how often the State seeks the death penalty for a capital offense. For example, if the State charges a capital offense (a crime for which the maximum penalty is death) 100 times, do juries choose to execute 80-90 of those defendants? That would be "liberal use" to me. If, after hearing the facts of the case at issue, juries choose to execute a dozen or so, that would be "minimal use," in my opinion.
Keven Ann Willey: May I refer you to the cover of Points from yesterday? There have been 13 executions so far this year - all but one have been in Texas. Further, we published a chart that shows the number of executions per state since 1976. If you could see that chart it would blow your mind. Most states have executed maybe a dozen or two since 1976. Texas has executed 390. Think about how long that bar is in this particular bar chart. Yes, but Texas is such a big state, you say, so isn't 390 reasonable on a per-capita basis? Not at all. The only state that has executed more per capita is Oklahoma at .238 executions per 10,000 population. Texas comes in at .173. Next is Delawar at .168, Virginia at .131, Missouri at .114. And so on. Seems pretty liberal to me.

Andre22: Who speaks for the victim's families in this matter? My father was murdered in 1971 and the man that murdered my father was a suspect in several others in AZ and TX. The guy was convicted for muder with out malice and was walking around (by my family's business, I saw him wth my own eyes) within 4 years. I think you people can sit and try to be objective (and sanctimoniously "civilized"), but until you look a loved one to murder, your opinions mean nothing to me.
Keven Ann Willey: We should all speak for the victims' families in these matters. They are what matter most. As we explained in the lead piece on Sunday, this newspaper's death penalty position is based not on sympathy for vile murderers. Many of us agree that those folks deserve to die for their crime. But executing 10, 100 or 1,000 of these wretches cannot remove the stain of innocent blood from our common moral fabrid. How does it help the victim's family if we execute the wrong person? What's wrong with life in prison without parole (or "death by prison") an awful sentnece that if applied in error has the advantage over death of being reversable.

moderator: From Bryan Rutherford: In the states that do not allow juries the option of a death penalty, how far-reaching are the movements of groups seeking to abolish life sentences as "inhumane" or "cruel and unusual" punishment? It is my feeling that, if the Texas death penalty abolishinists are successful, those groups will then move toward repeal of life sentences. What is happening in other states in this regard?
Keven Ann Willey: It is hard to make a credible argument against life without parole as a sentencing option under any circumstances, particularly in a state that doesn't have the death penalty as an option. I'm unaware of this sort of "strategy."

1glacier: Do you have even one example of an innocent person executed by the state of Texas
Keven Ann Willey: Please see my earlier answer to a similar question or read our Sunday cover piece on points. The first example that comes to mind is the Carlos De Luna case. He was executed in 1989. It's unclear whether he was guilty - the case doesn't stand up in many eyes upon closer examination. And another man had bragged about having committed the awful stabbing crime DeLuna was convicted of. We may never know for sure whether he was guilty or not. Worst of all, it doesn't matter. It's too late. We can't reverse his execution. It's not a stretch to assume other such cases exist. Bottom line as we noted Sunday: We have lost confidence that the state of Texas can guarantee that every inmate it executes is truly guilty of murder. We don't believe that any legal system devised by inherently flawed human beings can determine with moral certainty the guilt of every defendant convicted of murder. We can't reconcile the fact that the death penalty is both imperfect AND irreversable.

dommerdog: Discussion over "liberal" application of the death penalty brings me to Mike Hashimoto's thoughts on this topic expressed in his Points column. What you are writing here seems to controvert what he wrote in terms of the demographics and ratios. Do you disagree with his numbers?
Keven Ann Willey: We were enormously pleased to publish Mike's column. His was a well argued column espousing a different point of view on this key issue. Re the numbers: Mike found a Cornell study with numbers that said Texas sentenced fewer murders to death per capita than such states as Nevada, Ohio and Delaware. The editorial's figures came from the Death Penalty Information Center, U.S. census bureau. That's part of the problem here. There are studies all over the map on this issue, which heightens the lack of certainty. And that's the point.

Jasatchmo: I enjoyed the articles yesterday (including the rebuttal on the back page). The arguement to eliminate the death penalty is one I agree with. Not for religous reasons. In my case it comes down to a 'micro' vs a 'macro' view of the issue. One micro level, xxxxxxx (fill in the blank with any serial killer) deserves to die. We all agree with that. The macro side of the issue is what your arguement is hinged on....are we willing to kill a couple innocent people for every 50 that deserve it. I'm not. The finances of 3 to 1 for death vs life is compelling, but in the end that's just money. I'm not willing to kill innocent people and we know we have a flawed system.
Keven Ann Willey: Reasonable points all. Thank you.

Ronny: Is the DMN now opposed to the death penalty in principle, or could there be circumstances in which, given a moratorium and subsequent reform meeting certain just criteria, the DMN could once again support the death penalty. Also, could you envision a moratorium allowing review of past death penalty judgments while allowing future sentences to go forward provided a high standard of corroborating evidence is met?
Keven Ann Willey: TDMN is opposed to the death penalty, both for practical and philosophical reasons. I don't foresee any set of circumstances that would cause us to be confident that it can be applied with perfect accuracy. As we said on Sunday: "We do not believe that any legal system devised by inherently flawed human beings can determine with moral certainty the guilt of every defendant convicted of murder." Part of the purpose of a moratorium would be to review past death penalty judgments.

moderator: That's all we have time for today. Thanks, Keven, and thanks to everyone who participated.

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Kerry Max Cook to Speak at UT-Austin April 17 at noon

The Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Cordially Invites You to Attend:

Reexamining incarceration: A Discussion on Civil Rights and the Prison System

April 17, 2007
12:00 – Catered Lunch
Kerry Max Cook, author of Chasing Justice
exonerated after spending two decades on Texas’
death row for a crime he did not commit
(Please RSVP for lunch to tjclcr@law.utexas.edu)
Francis Auditorium, 2nd floor, UT Law School

1:30 – Panel : “Juvenile Justice: How do we fix this mess?”
Scott Medlock, Texas Civil Rights Project, Will Harrell, ACLU of Texas, and Isela Gutierrez, Texas Coalition Advocating for Juvenile Justice

3:00 – Panel: “Fighting from the outside: Civil Society Challenges to the Conditions of incarceration”, Nicole Porter, American Civil Liberties Union
of Texas, Michele Deitch, Professor, LBJ School of Public Policy, University of Texas, J. Rogue, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, Andria Shively, Inside Books Project

Both Panels will be held in the Eidmann Courtroom, UT School of Law, 727 East Dean Keeton Street × Austin, Texas 78705 × 512.232.1278 × www.utexas.edu/law/journals/tjclcr/

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Send Questions to Dallas Morning News About New Anti-Death Penalty Stance

Chat: Dallas Morning News Editorial page editor Keven Ann Willey will answer questions about the editorial board's stance new stance opposing the death penalty at 2 p.m. today.

Send early questions to chat@dallasnews.com or go to DallasNews.com to participate.

The DMN published two more articles today in their series against the death penalty.

Texas' Next Step
Texas Lawmakers should embrace a moratorium on executions and a study commission.
.

In Texas, the inevitability of a wrongful conviction evokes the image of an innocent person being rolled into a hearse. It's an image that's hard to erase, once the idea gets startedtakes hold.

No Texan should have to be haunted by that image, but lives are extinguished in Huntsville in all our names. State leaders have a responsibility to fearlessly confront the inevitability of a fatal mistake in our criminal justice system.


Death No More: Life without parole should be new standard

Justice demands a punishment that is fair yet revocable, one that provides a sense of finality while allowing for the fallibility of the system.

Life without parole meets that bar.

It's harsh. It's just. And it's final without being irreversible.

Call it a living death.

Thanks to a recent change in law, Texas juries now have the option of imposing life without parole in lieu of the death penalty.

Across the country, public sentiment has begun to shift as legislatures have given juries this option.

Last year, for the first time, Gallup Poll respondents favored life in prison without parole over the death penalty, if given the option.

DNA exonerations have raised the specter of executing an innocent man. Questions about lethal injection methodology and mounting evidence exposing the arbitrary application of the death penalty also have helped bolster support for life without parole.

Locking away murderers for life would save states millions of dollars on costly death penalty appeals. And there is growing support for life without parole and putting convicts to work to pay restitution to their victims' families.

Death does not provide an added level of justice. A prison sentence that does not allow for the possibility of parole accomplishes the same objectives: protecting society from violent criminals and ensuring that every day of a murderer's life is a miserable existence.

Our standards of punishment have evolved over time, from the gallows to firing squads, from the electric chair to lethal injection. Life without parole, essentially death by prison, should be the new standard.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dallas Morning News: It's time to end capital punishment

A couple of weeks ago Texas Moratorium Network received a call from a member of the editorial board of the The Dallas Morning News, which has long been known as one of Texas' most conservative newspapers. They wanted to talk about the death penalty, saying they were working on a series of editorials on the issue without saying exactly what the gist of the articles would be. We spoke about how TMN believes committees in the Texas Legislature would probably be convinced to pass moratorium legislation, as they did in 2001, if they would only schedule a hearing on the issue and listen to the type of powerful testimony from innocent, exonerated people that convinced the committees in 2001 to support a moratorium.

Now, we know what the series was all about. They have been critics of the system for several years and have called for a moratorium on executions at least six times. Now for the first time, the DMN is calling for an end to the death penalty in Texas. Their main reason is that "it is both imperfect and irreversible".

On Sunday, they began publishing a series of editorials on the issue. The second article is titled: "A death penalty slowdown, but not in Texas". A viewpoint in favor of keeping the death penalty by a dissenting member of their board is also part of the series. On Monday, they will publish another article, "Texas' Next Step: Lawmakers should enact a moratorium and study flaws in full light".



Also Online

Death no more: It's time to end capital punishment

Mike Hashimoto: Opposing a death penalty repeal

Graphic: Key death penalty statistics (.pdf)

Chart: A dubious distinction (.pdf)

Chat: Editorial page editor Keven Ann Willey answers your questions at 2 p.m. Monday on DallasNews.com. | Send early questions

Coming Monday: Texas' Next Step: Lawmakers should enact a moratorium and study flaws in full light.


An excerpt:
This board has lost confidence that the state of Texas can guarantee that every inmate it executes is truly guilty of murder. We do not believe that any legal system devised by inherently flawed human beings can determine with moral certainty the guilt of every defendant convicted of murder.

That is why we believe the state of Texas should abandon the death penalty – because we cannot reconcile the fact that it is both imperfect and irreversible.

And more:
Some death penalty supporters acknowledge that innocents may have been and may yet be executed, but they argue that serving the greater good is worth risking that unfortunate outcome. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argues that the Byzantine appeals process effectively sifts innocent convicts from the great mass of guilty, and killing the small number who fall through is a risk he's willing to live with. According to polls, most Texans are, too. But this editorial board is not.

Justice Scalia calls these innocents "an insignificant minimum." But that minimum is not insignificant to the unjustly convicted death-row inmate. It is not insignificant to his or her family. The jurist's verbiage concealsThis marks a transgression against the Western moral tradition, which establishes both the value of the individual and the wrongness of making an innocent suffer for the supposed good of the whole. Shedding innocent blood has been a scandal since Cain slew Abel – a crime for which, the Bible says, God spared the murderer, who remained under harsh judgment.

This newspaper's death penalty position is based not on sympathy for vile murderers – who, many most agree, deserve to die for their crimes – but rather in the conviction that not even the just dispatch of 10, 100, or 1,000 of these wretches can remove the stain of innocent blood from our common moral fabric.

This is especially true given that our society can be adequately guarded from killers using bloodless means. In 2005, the Legislature gave juries the option of sentencing killers to life without parole.

The state holds in its hands the power of life and death. It is an awesome power, one that citizens of a democracy must approach in fear and trembling, and in full knowledge that the state's justice system, like everything humanity touches, is fated to fall short of perfection. If we are doomed to err in matters of life and death, it is far better to err on the side of mercycaution. It is far better to err on the side of life. The state cannot impose death – an irrevocable sentence – with absolute certainty in all cases. Therefore the state should not impose it at all. • A New Standard: Now that Texas juries have a choice, and life without parole is the superior option. Coming tomorrow.

You can write a letter to the editor of the DMN praising them for their decision using their online form.

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TV valuable management tool for people on death row

Monday at 10 AM, the Corrections Committee in the Texas House will consider HB 608, by Terri Hodge, relating to access to television by inmates confined by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in death row segregation.

Send an e-mail to all seven members of the House Committee on Corrections asking them to support HB 608.

The bill would allow TDCJ to set policy allowing inmates on death row to purchase TVs from the commissary. Why would you want TVs to be allowed on death row? A Houston Chronicle article from 2004 said

one supporter of TV on death row is Chase Riveland, the former director of the state prison systems in Washington and Colorado. He says some degree of access to television can be an important tool for keeping prisoners in line.

"In most jurisdictions, in order to have a television, an inmate has to have a good disciplinary record," said Riveland, now a consultant who has 36 years of correctional experience.

"If the inmates know they're going to lose their television if they misbehave, they're going to be very cautious about it, especially if they're in a lockdown situation (as in Texas), because that's their only real connection with the real world."

Riveland added that, in most other states, inmates' families pay for the TV sets.

"I can't even fathom why one wouldn't want to use such an inexpensive tool," he said.

He also suggests that the use of televisions on death row might actually ensure that inmates are mentally fit to be executed.

If kept in isolation, he said, "the odds of inmates becoming mentally ill are greatly enhanced."

"That, of course, then leads to all types of challenges against whether you can execute them," Riveland said. "And so, by not having televisions or other means of keeping them mentally alert, it may add to the taxpayer drain through additional litigation."
Below is an op-ed on the issue from 2004.

TV valuable management tool for condemned

By Yolanda M. Torres
Opinion
Amarillo Globe News
Publication Date: 09/19/04

HUNTSVILLE - This concerns your Sept. 9 editorial, "TV or not TV is not a question for Texas death row inmates."

Clearly the editorial board did no research into this issue. The editorial evidences an absolute ignorance of the history of conditions on Texas' death row, the management of a sensitive population and the effective use of management tools in a penal institution.

If the board had made even a minimal effort to research this issue, it would have learned that 37 of the 38 death-penalty states in the country, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, use television in one form or another - either in-cell or out-of-cell - as a management tool for its death-row prisoners.

These 37 states, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, have successfully developed and implemented policies and practices that allow the use of television as a management tool while at the same time maintaining and increasing the safety of their employees and institutions.

These 37 states - and the BOP - have determined that television is a useful tool for controlling a sensitive population, promoting good behavior, modifying conduct and enhancing the security of its staff and institutions.

The male death-row population, when it was located at the Ellis Unit, had access to television. The men were divided into two groups: "work capable" and "non-work capable." To achieve and maintain work capable status, prisoners had to maintain a clean disciplinary record. They were allowed to recreate in groups, attend worship services and work in the garment factory. They had access to television and were allowed to work with crafts and art supplies.

After the Martin Gurule escape from Ellis, the death row population was moved to Polunsky, its current unit. At Polunsky, the prisoners have been isolated, segregated and subjected to severe sensory deprivation. They are confined to single-man cells 23 hours a day. They eat in their cells. They are not allowed worship services. They are not permitted to work. No arts and crafts supplies are allowed.

These restrictions were put into effect after the Gurule escape, even though the the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's own internal review of the incident attributed the event to employee negligence. The investigation found that TDCJ employees failed to follow established policies and procedures that would have prevented the Gurule escape. It did not find that worship services, group recreation, the work program, television or any other program caused or contributed to the escape.

If the Globe-News editorial board had done any research into this issue, it would have learned that the management tools TDCJ uses to encourage and reward good behavior in genera population and administrative segregation prisoners are generally not applicable to the death row population. Loss of good time and loss of a mandatory date are meaningless. Death row inmates are not allowed contact visits, so that tool is not available. And reductions in line class and custody class do not affect them.

The only authorized tools available to TDCJ are restrictions (commissary, recreation and cell) and loss of level, which results in the temporary seizure of certain personal property and temporary limited visitation pending the prisoner's promotion in level. Television is a powerful incentive to encourage death row prisoners to modify their behavior and conform to the rules and regulations of the unit.

If the editorial board had made any legitimate attempt to actually understand this issue, it also would have learned that, given this history, the current confinement status of the population, TDCJ's interest in increasing the number of management tools, and the fact that all other death rows in the country allow prisoners to have television, the outright rejection of the issue, without any study or consideration, is not only arrogant and self-serving but absolutely confounding. Many legitimate TDCJ interests can and will be served if the TDCJ implements a sound policy that uses television access as a management tool to encourage and reward good behavior.

Finally, if the editorial board had a true interest in informed opinions, it would make a point of knowing its subject matter prior to the publication of its editorials and, in this case, it would have recognized that Christina Crain's summary dismissal of the issue, without explanation, is strangely suspect.

Surely a real journalist would at least take the time to learn how it is that Christina Crain, a woman with absolutely no criminal justice experience, was appointed to chair the Texas Board of Criminal Justice in the first place, why she refuses to speak to the media directly about this matter, who directed the summary dismissal and how the prison administrators and guards who work with the death row population feel about Crain's pandering to public misperception.

If the editorial board had done any of these things, it could have published an intelligent, educated editorial rather the piece that ran Sept. 9.

Yolanda M. Torres is the litigation director of the Prison and Jail Accountability Project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Google Map of Texas Execution Vigil Locations

Statewide Execution Vigils

Google Map

Huntsville - Corner of 12th Street and Avenue I (in front of the Walls Unit) at 5:00 p.m.

Austin - At the Governor's Mansion on the Lavaca St. side between 10th and 11th St. from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.

Beaumont - Diocese of Beaumont, Diocesan Pastoral Office, 703 Archie St. @ 4:00 p.m. on the day of an execution.

College Station - 5:30 to 6 PM, east of Texas A &M campus at the corner of Walton and Texas Ave. across the street from the main entrance.

Corpus Christi - at 6 PM in front of Incarnate Word Convent at 2910 Alameda Street

Dallas - 5:30 pm, at the SMU Women's Center, 3116 Fondren Drive

Houston - Rotating Locations: April vigils will be held from 5:30 to 6:20 at St. Anne's Catholic Community, corner of Westheimer and Shepherd. Parking is available from Westheimer just west of Shepherd.

Lewisville - St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 1897 W. Main Street. Peace & Justice Ministry conducts Vigils of Witness Against Capital Punishment at 6:00 pm on the day executions are scheduled in Texas.

McKinney - St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Community located at 110 St. Gabriel Way. We gather the last Saturday of the month between 6:00 to 6:30 to pray for those men/women scheduled to be executed in the next month and to remember the victims, their families, and all lives touched, including us as a society.

San Antonio (Site 1) - Archdiocese of San Antonio, in the St. Joseph Chapel at the Chancery, 2718 W. Woodlawn Ave. (1 mile east of Bandera Rd.) at 11:30 a.m. on the day of execution. Broadcast on Catholic Television of San Antonio (Time-Warner cable channel 15) at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the day of execution.

San Antonio (Site 2) - Main Plaza across from Bexar County Courthouse and San Fernando Cathedral - Noon

Spring - Prayer Vigil at 6 PM on evenings of executions at St Edward Catholic Community, 2601 Spring Stuebner Rd for the murder victim, for family and friends of the murder victim, the prison guards and correctional officers, for the family of the condemn man/woman, for the man/woman to be executed and to an end to the death penalty.

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Perry set to Break Bush's Execution Record: Take Action to Protest Execution of Ryan Dickson

Last night several of us were at the governor's mansion protesting the execution of James Clark, who was the 152nd person executed by Governor Perry. Around 6:00 PM, seventeen minutes before Clark died, Perry was seen leaving the mansion in the passenger seat of a black SUV. He was wearing what looked like jogging clothes. We held our signs high as he drove out and one of us made eye contact with him. He knows we were there. On April 26, you can let him know you want him to stop executions by coming to the mansion to protest the next execution.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



Click the Action Alert above to Write Texas Gov Perry to Protest the execution of Ryan Dickson on April 26, 2007.



Texas Gov Perry is about to break the record of executions while in office that was set by former Governor Bush. 152 people were executed by Bush while he was governor. On April 26, Perry could reach number 153. The person's name who could become number 153 is Ryan Dickson.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Another Letter-to-the-editor about Borris Miles

The Austin Chronicle has another letter-to-the-editor in this week's edition about the art exhibition at the capitol.

Date Received: Mon., Apr. 9, 12:33PM

IF STATE REPS CAN STEAL, WHY CAN'T THE REST OF US?
Dear Editor,
As an artist, musician, and writer, I was horrified by state Rep. Borris Miles’ action in stealing artwork from an anti-death-penalty exhibition at the Capitol and the legal and public apathy in its wake [“State Representative: Let’s Hang the Artist,” News, March 30]. I brightened, however, when it hit me that, if all I have to do is adopt a stance of righteous indignation, change some language, and abuse my position as an elected official (two out of three ain’t bad), then I, too, can not only publicly confess to stealing but get away with it with nary a raised eyebrow! Thanks to Mr. Miles and the trend he has set, I can now realize my lifelong dream of marching into the nearest Hallmark store and confiscating every glittery, heavy-lidded, huge-craniumed Precious Moments figurine on the shelves, stating that they offend my sensibility as an artist on one hand and as a human with a brain and a modicum of good taste on the other. I shall stash them in my studio and, when confronted, stand tall and proud, declaring that because I have decided for the rest of you that they are tacky and inappropriate, I stripped them from public view on my own initiative. Many of my friends who regularly compliment the emperor’s new clothes would agree with me. Once I start to feel the heat, I’ll simply say I gave the Precious Moments figurines back to a Hallmark employee, who will deny having them, and no one will “seem to know where [they] have gone” at press time.
The sad truth is that there never would have been an issue if Mr. Miles had taken five minutes to go to the information desk and inquire about the nature of the exhibition.
And I’d be arrested and jailed if I took Precious Moments figurines, because people care about Precious Moments and collect them, whereas what Mr. Miles took was just a couple of anti-death-penalty paintings that don’t matter, made by some chick from Portland, Ore., and some black guy on death row. Right, Mr. Miles?


Yours in fear for what’s left of our First Amendment rights,
Jennie Kay Snyder

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Person with Low IQ about to Become 152nd Rick Perry Execution

Write Gov Perry to Protest the Execution of James Clark on April 11, 2007


APPLICATION FOR COMMUTATION OF DEATH SENTENCE TO LIFE IN PRISON - JAMES CLARK TEXAS - RETARDATION




SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

BEFORE THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS

AND

TEXAS BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES

–––––––––––––––––––––– . –––––––––––––––––––––

JAMES LEE CLARK

DENTON COUNTY CRIMINAL CASE No. F-93-0713-C

APRIL 11, 2007 EXECUTION DATE

–––––––––––––––––––––– . –––––––––––––––––––––

APPLICATION FOR

COMMUTATION OF DEATH SENTENCE

TO LIFE IN PRISON

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

PUBLIC HEARING REQUESTED

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Ward S. Larkin

15327 Pebble Bend Dr.

Houston, TX 77068-1839

Phone: 281-444-3840

Email: ward@adelante.com

AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE FOR

JAMES LEE CLARK [SEE EXHIBIT 1]

This Application for Commutation of Death Sentence to Life in Prison is presented in

behalf of James Lee Clark in compliance with 37 TAC 143.57.

No interview with a member of the board per 37 TAC 143.57(e) is requested.

Table of Contents

Table of Exhibits i

Application for Commutation of Death Sentence to Life in Prison 1

Supplemental Information 1

Other Atkins Claims Involving Dr. George Denkowski 1

The case of Darnell Glenn Carr 4

The case of Demetrius Lott Simms 6

The case of Exzavier Lamont Stevenson 7

The case of Coy Wayne Wesbrook 9

The case of Brian Edward Davis 12

Texas Persons With Mental Retardation Act § 591.003(16) 13

Clemency Issues 14

The Case of Robert Smith 14

The Case of Doil Lane 15

The Fox is Guarding the Henhouse 16

Victim Impact 18

Conclusion 18

Exhibits

1

Table of Exhibits

Exhibit 12 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for Exzavier Lott

Stevenson

Exhibit 13 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for Darrell Glenn

Carr

Exhibit 14 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for Demetrius Lott

Simms

Exhibit 15 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for Coy Wayne

Wesbrook

Exhibit 16 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for Brian Edward

Davis

2

March 27, 2007

To the Governor and Honorable Members of the Board Of Pardons & Paroles:

Application for Commutation of Death Sentence to Life in Prison

Supplemental Information

OTHER ATKINS CLAIMS INVOLVING DR. GEORGE DENKOWSKI

On February 28, 2007 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that

Darrell Glenn Carr1 and Demetrius Lott Simms2 are mentally retarded and

pursuant to U.S. Supreme Court case Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) are

therefore exempt from execution. On March 21, 2007 the Texas Court of Criminal

Appeals similarly ruled that Exzavier Lott Stevenson3 is mentally retarded, but

that Coy Wayne Wesbrook4 is not. On March 29, 2006 the Texas Court of

Criminal Appeals ruled that Brian Edward Davis5 is not mentally retarded, and

therefore not exempt from execution.

These cases are important to James Clark’s Application for Executive

1 Exhibit 13 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in the case against Darrell Glenn Carr:

Harris County Criminal Case No. 0644434-B, Texas Court of Criminal Appeal Case No. WR-55,033-02.

Exhibit 13 also contains the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Order dated February 28, 2007, commuting

Mr. Carr’s death sentence to life in prison.

2 Exhibit 14 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in the case against Demetrius Lott

Simms: Harris County Criminal Case No. 0605233-B, Texas Court of Criminal Appeal Case No. WR-

56,811-01. Exhibit 14 also contains the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Order dated February 28, 2007,

commuting Mr. Simms’ death sentence to life in prison.

3 Exhibit 12 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in the case against Exzavier Lamont

Stevenson: Harris County Criminal Case No. 0836855-A, Texas Court of Criminal Appeal Case No. WR-

57,059-02. Exhibit 12 also contains the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Order dated March 21, 2007,

commuting Mr. Stevenson’s death sentence to life in prison.

4 Exhibit 15 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in the case against Wayne Coy

Wesbrook: Harris County Criminal Case No. 0768395-B, Texas Court of Criminal Appeal Case No. WR-

52,120-02. Exhibit 15 also contains the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Order dated March 21, 2007,

ruling that Mr. Wesbrook is not mentally retarded.

5 Exhibit 16 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in the case against Brian Edward Davis:

Harris County Criminal Case No. 616522-E, Texas Court of Criminal Appeal Case No. WR-40,339-05.

Exhibit 16 also contains the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Order dated March 29, 2006, ruling that Mr.

Davis is not mentally retarded.

3

Clemency because Dr. George Denkowski was the state’s psychological expert

for determining mental retardation in each of these cases. Dr. Denkowski was the

psychological expert on mental retardation first hired by the Denton County

District Attorney to evaluate James Clark, but was fired after he diagnosed James

Clark as mentally retarded. More so, these other cases are important to James

Clark because in each of these other cases the presiding trial court did what it’s

supposed to do regarding expert scientific testimony: accept and consider the

relevant and reliable scientific evidence and ignore the non-relevant, non-reliable

scientific evidence. [See page 26 of Clemency Application filed on March 21,

2007, analysis of U.S. Supreme Court case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals,

509 U.S. 579 (1993).]

In each of these cases, as is required by Daubert, the presiding trial judge

used only the reliable and relevant expert psychological testimony when

deciding who is mentally retarded and who is not mentally retarded. Anecdotal

evidence and scientific evidence that didn’t comply with proven and accepted

empirical standards wasn’t considered. Similarly, Dr. Denkowski was especially

cautious about test taking underperformance, and the courts recognized this

caution. Atkins claimants do, admittedly, have a vested interest in being

diagnosed with mental retardation.

However, and unlike James Clark’s case, where the trial judge allowed the

prosecutor to hire and fire expert psychologists until the prosecutor found the

testimony he wanted to hear, where the trial judge ignored the only two experts

who performed accepted standardized testing on mental retardation, where the

4

standard error of measurement was ignored, in these cases of Exzavier Lott

Stevenson, Darrell Glenn Carr, Demetrius Lott Simms, Coy Wayne Wesbrook

and Brian Edward Davis the various trial judges properly considered the

relevant and reliable expert psychological testimony.

Dr. Denkowski’s expert opinions were found relevant, reliable and

credible. And this is how it should be. This is how it must be. The courts must

defer to the relevant, reliable and credible expert psychological evidence when

determining who is mentally retarded and who is not. To do otherwise is

arbitrary and capricious, a violation of the law. One of the fundamental

principles of the American criminal justice system is to prevent arbitrary or

otherwise oppressive treatment of persons suspected, accused or convicted of

criminal offenses, not to encourage or facilitate oppression.

To quickly recap, mental retardation is a disability characterized by, (1)

significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning (2) accompanied by

related limitations in adaptive functioning, (3) the onset of which occurs prior to

the age of 18.

THE CASE OF DARRELL GLENN CARR

In the case of Darrell Glenn Carr, after Mr. Carr’s attorneys claimed mental

retardation under Atkins, the Harris County District Attorney’s first response

was to oppose it: "Applicant has failed to prove facts which would entitle him to

relief".

Prior to Atkins Mr. Carr had full-scale IQ test scores above 70. On April 2,

1981 (at the age of 11 years, 6 months) Mr. Carr took the WISC-R and attained a

5

full-scale IQ of 80. On January 11, 1983 the WISC-R was re-administered, and Mr.

Carr attained a full-scale IQ of 68. On October 23, 2003 Dr. Rosana Rosin gave

Mr. Carr the WAIS-III, and he attained a full-scale IQ of 50. On August 17, 2006

Dr. Denkowski re-administered the WAIS-III and Mr. Carr attained a full-scale

IQ score of 53.

Also during August 17-8, 2006 Dr. Denkowski administered to Darrell

Glenn Carr the following: Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), Dot Counting

Test, Rey 15-Item Memory Test, Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression

Inventory – Second Edition (BDI-II), Wide Range Achievement Test – Third

Edition (WRAT-3), and Adaptive Behavior Assessment System (ABAS).

On November 24, 2006 Dr. Denkowski’s issued his assessment: Mr. Carr

attained a full-scale IQ of 53 and has deficits in the four adaptive behavior

assessments: community use, functional academics, health and safety, and self

care. Dr. Denkowski provided that Darnell Glenn Carr "is mentally retarded in

terms of the criteria that apply in Texas criminal proceedings".

In light of Dr. Denkowski’s expert examination, and in spite of a full-scale

IQ score as high as 80, the Harris County District Attorney re-evaluated its

opposition to Mr. Carr’s Atkins claim. On December 15, 2006, the Harris County

District Attorney filed Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law saying

that Darrell Glenn Carr is mentally retarded and therefore exempt from

execution.6 Without modification, and on December 20, 2006, the trial judge Brian

Rains signed the Harris County District Attorney’s proposed Findings of Fact

6 Exhibit 13 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in Darrell Glenn Carr’s case.

6

and Conclusions of Law. On February 28, 2007 the Texas Court of Criminal

Appeals affirmed that trial court, officially commuting Mr. Carr’s death sentence

to life in prison. Darrell Glenn Carr was convicted of capital murder and

sentenced death for the robbery-murder of 16-year old Priscilla Rangel.

THE CASE OF DEMETRIUS LAMONT SIMMS

In the case of Demetrius Lott Simms, after Mr. Simms’ attorneys claimed

mental retardation under Atkins, the Harris County District Attorney’s first

response was to oppose it: "Applicant fails to prove, by a preponderance of the

evidence, that he meets the first prong of the three-part definition of mental

retardation"; "Applicant fails to demonstrate, by a preponderance of the

evidence, that he has such limitations in adaptive functioning as would satisfy

that prong of the diagnostic criteria for mental retardation".

Prior to Atkins Mr. Simms had full-scale IQ test scores above 70. On

August 2, 1989 (at the age of 18 years, 5 months) Dr. Orloff gave Mr. Simms the

Weshsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised Edition (WAIS-R), and Mr. Simms

attained a full-scale IQ of 71. In 1994 Dr. Nelson determined that Mr. Simms has

a full-scale IQ of 66. On February 29, 1996 Dr. Lehman assessed Mr. Simms

attained a WAIS-R full scale IQ of 68. Then on August 20, 1998 Dr. Nelson also

tested Mr. Simms with WAIS-R, full-scale IQ 73.

On July 27-8, 2006 Dr. Denkowski administered to Demetrius Lott Simms

the following: Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), Weshsler Adult

Intelligence Scale – third edition (WAIS-III), Dot Counting Test, Rey 15-Item

Memory Test, Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory –

7

Second Edition (BDI-II), Wide Range Achievement Test – Third Edition (WRAT-

3), and Adaptive Behavior Assessment System (ABAS).

On November 24, 2006 Dr. Denkowski’s issued his assessment. Mr. Simms

attained a full-scale IQ of 63 and was deficit in the five adaptive behavior

assessments: communication, community use, functional academics, health and

safety, and social. Dr. Denkowski provided that Demetrius Lott Simms "is

mentally retarded in accord with the criteria that are applicable in Texas criminal

proceedings".

In light of Dr. Denkowski’s expert examination, and in spite of other IQ

scores above 70, the Harris County District Attorney re-evaluated its opposition

to Mr. Simms’ Atkins claim. On December 20, 2006, the Harris County District

Attorney filed Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law saying that

Demetrius Lott Simms is mentally retarded and therefore exempt from

execution.7 Without modification, and on the same day, the trial judge Michael

McSpadden signed the Harris County District Attorney’s proposed Findings of

Fact and Conclusions of Law. On February 28, 2007 the Texas Court of Criminal

Appeals affirmed that trial court, officially commuting Mr. Simms’ death

sentence to life in prison.

Demetrius Lott Simms was convicted and sentenced to death for the

murder of 4-year old Monique Miller.

7 Exhibit 14 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in Demetrius Lott Simms’ case.

8

THE CASE OF EXZAVIER LOTT STEVENSON

In the case of Exzavier Lamont Stevenson, after Mr. Stevenson’s attorneys

claimed mental retardation under Atkins, the Harris County District Attorney’s

first response was to oppose it.

There are no full-scale IQ test scores for Mr. Stevenson prior to Atkins.

However, on January 1, 1989 (at the age of 20) the U.S. Social Security

Administration determined that Mr. Stevenson was mentally retarded for the

purpose of Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI). On January 23, 2002 Dr.

Jerome Brown administered the WAIS-III, and Mr. Stevenson attained a full-scale

IQ score of 55. On February 2, 2004 Dr. Rosana Rosin re-administered the WAISIII,

and Mr. Stevenson attained a full-scale IQ score of 51.

Then on July 27-8, 2006 Dr. Denkowski administered to Mr. Stevenson the

following: Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), Stanford-Binet Intelligence

Scales – Fifth Edition (SB-5), Dot Counting Test, Rey 15-Item Memory Test, Beck

Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory – Second Edition (BDI-II),

Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), Wide Range

Achievement Test – Third Edition (WRAT-3), and Adaptive Behavior

Assessment System (ABAS).

On December 26, 2006 Dr. Denkowski’s issued his assessment: Mr.

Stevenson attained a full-scale IQ of 41 and was deficit in six adaptive behavior

assessments: functional academics, communication, community use, health and

safety, leisure and social. Dr. Denkowski provided that Exzavier Lamont

9

Stevenson "is mentally retarded in accord with the criteria that are applicable in

Texas criminal proceedings".

In light of Dr. Denkowski’s expert examination, and in spite of no available

prior IQ test scores, the Harris County District Attorney re-evaluated its

opposition to Mr. Stevenson’s Atkins claim. The Harris County District Attorney

filed Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law saying that Exzavier

Lamont Stevenson is mentally retarded and therefore exempt from execution.8

On January 12, 2007, without modification, trial judge Vanessa Velasquez signed

the Harris County District Attorney’s proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions

of Law. On March 21, 2007 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed that

trial court, officially commuting Mr. Stevenson’s death sentence to life in prison.

Exzavier Lamont Stevenson was convicted and sentenced to death for the

murders of Khalid Masroor and Syed Medhi after an argument at a convenience

store.

THE CASE OF COY WAYNE WESBROOK

In the case of Coy Wayne Wesbrook, after Mr. Wesbrook’s attorneys

claimed mental retardation under Atkins, the Harris County District Attorney’s

first response was to oppose it.

Prior to Atkins Mr. Wesbrook had full-scale IQ test scores above 70. On

January 29, 1968 (two days short of his tenth birthday) Mr. Wesbrook was tested

with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale of Children and attained a full-scale IQ of

90. The Flynn Effect probably overstated Mr. Wesbrook’s IQ by 5 points. Mr.

8 Exhibit 12 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in Exzavier Lamont Stevenson’s case.

10

Wesbrook was subsequently administered the Primary Mental Abilities (PMA)

tests, and obtained scores of 65 (at age 11) and 84 (at age 14). The PMA is a group

test of general intelligence given by schools to help make administrative

decisions about what sort of assistance to provide struggling students. The PMA

does not establish IQ, but instead scholastic aptitude.

On June 2, 2004 Dr. Stephen Martin administered Mr. Wesbrook (then age

46) the WAIS-III. Mr. Wesbrook attained a full-scale IQ of 74. However, Dr.

Martin found that score problematic. Mr. Wesbrook didn’t perform well on the

Rey 15-Item test, a test to determine whether Mr. Wesbrook was giving a good

effort. Dr. Martin also determined that Mr. Wesbrook had been depressed for

several years. Depression is known to decrease motivation, and therefore

provide understated full-scale IQ test results.

On July 25-6, 2006 Dr. Denkowski administered to Mr. Wesbrook the

following: Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), Wechsler Adult Intelligence

Scale – Third Edition (WAIS-III), Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I

Disorders (SCID-I), Dot Counting Test, Rey 15-Item Memory Test, Beck Anxiety

Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory – Second Edition (BDI-II), Wide

Range Achievement Test – Third Edition (WRAT-3), and Adaptive Behavior

Assessment System (ABAS).

On August 8, 2006 Dr. Denkowski’s issued his assessment:9 Mr. Wesbrook

attained a full-scale IQ of 66 and was deficit in one adaptive behavior

9 On January 19, 2007 Dr. Denkowski issued some minor corrections to his August 8, 2006 assessment of

Coy Wayne Wesbrook. These corrections are included in Exhibit 15.

11

assessments: functional academics. Dr. Denkowski provided that "when

nonintellectual factors are accounted for, Mr. Wesbrook’s adult measured mental

ability is conveyed best by the Full Scale IQ of 74 to 79, and his actual adult

general intelligence functioning is estimated to be of about 84 IQ quality. Mr.

Wesbrook’s general intellectual functioning is therefore not significantly

subaverage." (Emphasis is in original statement.) Thus, in conclusion, Dr.

Denkowski provided that Coy Wayne Wesbrook "is not considered to be

mentally retarded for Atkins purposes".

Even though Mr. Wesbrook’s full scale IQ score from July 25, 2006 was 66

(well below the 70 threshold for the mental ability prong of mental retardation

dignosis), Dr. Denkowski used proven and accepted psychological procedure to

readjust that full-scale 66 IQ score to an actual IQ score of between 74 and 79. In

short, Dr. Denkowski did what he was supposed to do as a trained professional

psychologist: provide relevant and reliable evidence based on accepted empirical

testing.

Likewise, the Harris County District Attorney and trial judge Marc Carter

did what they were supposed to do, they accepted the relevant and reliable

diagnosis of the psychological experts. Note: Dr. Stephen Martin also said that

Mr. Wesbrook’s 2004 full-scale IQ score of 74 should be "viewed with caution".

Trial judge Marc Carter issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law10

providing that Coy Wayne Wesbrook is not mentally retarded. On March 21,

2007 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed that trial court, officially

10 Exhibit 15 contains the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in Coy Wayne Wesbrook’s case.

12

denying Mr. Wesbrook Texas state habeas relief under U.S. Supreme Court case

Atkins v. Virginia. Mr. Wesbrook has the discretion to appeal this denial of Atkins

relief to the U.S. federal courts. Coy Wayne Wesbrook was convicted and

sentenced to death for the murders of Gloria Jean Coons, Antonio Cruz, Anthony

Ray Rogers, Diana Ruth Money and Kelly Hazlip.

THE CASE OF BRIAN EDWARD DAVIS

In the case of Brian Edward Davis, after Mr. Davis’ attorneys claimed

mental retardation under Atkins, the Harris County District Attorney’s first

response was to oppose it.

Prior to Atkins Mr. Davis had full-scale IQ test scores above 70. In 1980 (age

11 years, 1 month) Brian Davis took the WISC-R. However, the only available

result was simply "low average", which indicates an IQ range of 80-90. In 1983

(age 14 years, 5 months) Brian Davis took the Woodcock-Johnson Test of

Cognitive Ability. He scored a full-scale IQ of 88. At the age of 15 years, 5

months, and while in custody of the Texas Youth Council, Mr. Davis took a

partial WISC-R and attained a full-scale IQ of 74. The Flynn Effect probably

overstated Mr. Davis’s WISC-R IQ test score by 3 points. However, according to

both Dr. Denkowski (the state’s expert) and Dr. Gilda Kessner (the defense

expert) the standard error of measurement for a partial WISC-R is high, to the

point of making that 74 IQ score unreliable.

In 2004 Dr. Gilda Kessner administered the Reynolds Intellectual

Assessment Scales (RIAS) to Mr. Davis, and he achieved a Composite

Intelligence Index score of 77. On September 27-8, 2004 Dr. Denkowski

13

administered to Mr. Davis the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales – Fifth Edition

(SB-5). Mr. Davis attained a full-scale IQ score of 80. On July 25, 2005 trial court

judge Belinda Hill accepted Dr. Denkowski’s diagnosis and found that Brian

Davis did not meet the general intellectual functioning prong of mental

retardation diagnosis. That is, a significantly subaverage IQ, generally at or

below 70. On March 29, 2006 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed

Judge Hill, officially denying Mr. Davis’ Atkins claim in Texas state courts. Mr.

Davis has the discretion to appeal this denial of Atkins relief to the U.S. federal

courts.

Brian Eugene Davis was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to

death for the murder-robbery of Michael Alan Foster.

TEXAS PERSONS WITH MENTAL RETARDATION ACT § 591.003(16)

I just learned that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals made an

interesting ruling in Ex Parte Lewis, Cause No. WR-38,355-03 (Tex. Crim. App.

Dec. 6, 2006). The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that Texas Persons

With Mental Retardation Act § 591.003(16) is not relevant for the determination

of who’s mentally retarded and who’s not mentally retarded as it pertains to

capital punishment.

Texas Person With Mental Retardation Act § 591.003(16) provides

"Person with mental retardation" means a person determined

by a physician or psychologist licensed in this state or

certified by the department to have subaverage general

intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive behavior.

14

Clearly, the greatest significance of § 591.003(16) is that the Texas

Legislature wants mental retardation determinations to be made by licensed

professionals, and not based on anecdotal or otherwise non-scientifically relevant

or reliable evidence. Ex Parte Lewis demonstrates all of the more that the Texas

State Legislature needs to enact law so as to place Texas in compliance with

Atkins v. Virginia. In the meantime all executions of condemned with at least

prima facie evidence of mental retardation should be suspended.

GENERAL CLEMENCY ISSUES

This is the third application for executive clemency I’ve filed in James Lee

Clark’s behalf. The first application was filed on October 31, 2002 for a November

21, 2002 execution date. It was rendered mute because the Texas Court of

Criminal Appeals issued a stay before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

voted. The second application was filed on April 6, 2004 for an April 27, 2004

execution date. The Board voted 5-0 to deny. Soon then after the U.S. Court of

Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a stay.

THE CASE OF ROBERT SMITH

Naturally, I was (and still am) disappointed that the Texas Board of

Pardons and Paroles voted against James Clark in April of 2004. And, I’m still

baffled as to how the Board could unanimously split the hair distinguishing

former Texas Death Row offender Robert Smith’s case from James Clark’s. Just

weeks earlier the board had voted unanimously to recommend clemency for Mr.

Smith. On March 12, 2004 Texas Governor Rick Perry accepted the Board’s

15

recommendation and officially commuted Robert Smith’s death sentence to life

in prison because Mr. Smith is mentally retarded.

In Robert Smith’s case Texas licensed psychologist Dr. George Denkowski

diagnosed Robert Smith as mentally retarded: IQ 63, 5 adaptive behavior

deficits.11 In James Clark’s case the exact same Dr. George Denkowski diagnosed

James Clark as mentally retarded: 65 IQ and 3 adaptive behavior deficits.12 Mr.

Smith and Mr. Clark were each, according to the expert opinion of Dr.

Denkowski, unquestionably mentally retarded. Yet, in Robert Smith’s case the

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously to recommend

commutation of death sentence to life in prison. In James Clark’s case, the Texas

Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously to reject commutation of death

sentence to life in prison. Again, I’m baffled that Dr. Denkowski’s diagnosis in

Robert Smith’s case received universal acceptance, and Dr. Denkowski’s

diagnosis in James Clark’s case received universal rejection.

THE CASE OF DOIL LANE

Now there’s also the case of Doil Lane. On March 9, 2007 Texas Governor

Rick Perry commuted Doil Lane’s death sentence to life in prison because Doil

Lane is mentally retarded. This was upon a 5-2 vote from Texas Board of Pardons

and Paroles in favor of commutation.

It’s proper that Doil Lane’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison.

Doil Lane is clearly and plainly a person with mental retardation. But again, to

11 Exhibits F1 and F1 from the 2004 Clemency Application for James Clark contain Dr. Denkowski’s

psychological assessment of Robert Smith.

12 Exhibit G from the 2004 Clemency Application for James Clark contain Dr. Denkowski psychological

assessment of James Clark.

16

compare, Doil Lane has had Full Scale IQ scores of 67, 78 and 65. James Clark’s

full-scale IQ scores have been 74, 65 and 68. I don’t see much difference there.

Regarding adaptive behavior deficits, Doil Lane has amble deficits to qualify as

mentally retarded, as does James Clark. Dr. Denkowski provided in 2003 that

James Clark is deficit in Health and Safety, Social and Work. [See Dr.

Denkowski’s Psychological Assessment of James Clark, Exhibit G, 2004

Clemency Application.]

THE FOX IS GUARDING THE HENHOUSE

As far as I’m aware, eight mentally retarded Texas Death Row offenders

have had their death sentences commuted to life in prison: Walter Bell, Darrell

Carr, Doil Lane, Willie Moddon, Demetrius Simms, Robert Smith, Exzavier

Stevenson, Albert Valdez. As far as I’m aware, psychologist Dr. George

Denkowski diagnosed four of these men: Darrell Carr, Demetrius Simms, Robert

Smith and Exzavier Stevenson. As far as I’m aware the only time in which a

Texas Death Row offender is found sufficiently mentally retarded to satisfy

Atkins v. Virginia is when the presiding prosecutor says he or she is sufficiently

mentally retarded. That is, if the presiding prosecutor concurs that a person on

Texas Death Row is mentally retarded, then the courts or the Texas Board of

Pardons and Paroles follow suit.

There is one partial exception. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals did

grant Alberto Valdez Atkins relief even though the Nueces County District

Attorney's Office opposed it. Strangely, however, even in it's opposition, the

Nueces County District Attorney's Office conceded that Alberto Valdez is

17

mentally retarded. The Nueces County District Attorney's Office opposed

granting Atkins relief to Alberto Valdez on procedural grounds, not on factual

grounds. Specifically, The Nueces County District Attorney argued that Atkins

should not apply to Alberto Valdez because Valdez was sentenced to death years

before Atkins was decided. At best this argument is spurious. The Atkins decision

is about limiting executions, not strictly about limiting who may get sentenced to

death. Thus, even in the Alberto Valdez case, the prosecution agreed that the

defendant is mentally retarded.

As far as I know, in every Atkins claim the trial court simply did what the

prosecution wanted. In turn the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirms the trial

court. Thus, as it stands now, compliance with Atkins in Texas is completely up

to the prosecutor. Whatever the prosecutor wants, the prosecutor gets. The fox is

guarding the henhouse. If the prosecutor is benevolent (i.e. believes in due

process of law and equal protection under the law), then an Atkins claim is going

to be treated fairly by that prosecutor, and also by that trial court. However, if

the prosecutor is hostile, and that prosecutor sees Atkins as an injustice, a way to

getting away with murder, then that Atkins claim is always going to fail.

That’s not how it’s supposed to be. The fundamental principle of our

American criminal justice system is rule of law. Official discretion is supposed to

be limited. This is to prevent arbitrary, capricious, and otherwise oppressive

treatment of, not only criminal suspects, but the convicted, too. James Clark

didn’t lose his Atkins claim in the courts because he’s not mentally retarded. He

is mentally retarded. James Clark lost his Atkins claim in the courts because his

18

prosecutor was hostile, and the Texas courts haven’t and don’t do anything to

stop it.

VICTIM IMPACT

I have not spoken with any member of the Cari Crews family. My hope is

that the Victim Services Office of the Denton County District Attorney’s Office is

providing them counsel and assistance.

CONCLUSION

Finally, I’m confident that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has

solicited information about James Lee Clark from many other sources. For

example, information has been solicited from the Denton County trial officials:

trial judge, district attorney and sheriff. NOTE: not one of these current sitting

trial officials is the same as those who were originally involved at James Clark’s

trial. Ira Sam Houston was the trial judge. Now the presiding judge is Lee

Gabriel, specially assigned. The trial district attorney was Bruce Isaacks. The

current Denton County District Attorney is Paul Johnson. The sheriff at the time

of the trial was Lucas Welton. It’s now Benny Parkey.

Also, I know that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has asked the

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) for information about James Clark,

but I’m afraid that TDCJ’s opinions about mental retardation will be all over the

map. Their conclusions will be personal, subjective and therefore void of

scientific meaning. I’m confident to some TDCJ corrections officers, if the

offender doesn’t cause them any trouble, then offender is not mentally retarded.

Similarly, to some corrections officers, an offender is not mentally retarded if the

19

offender is at least moderately well groomed, and keeps his or her cell at least

moderately clean. In other words, if the offender doesn’t cause the corrections

officer any trouble, then the offender is not mentally retarded.

Whereas the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles should seek as much

meaningful information as possible when deciding James Clark’s request for

commutation of death sentence to life in prison. However, that information must

truly be meaningful: that is, accurate, relevant and reliable. There’s the rub. Also,

I’m extremely bothered that I don’t get to know or confront any of this other

information. I’m afraid that the Board of Pardons and Paroles will give meaning

to evidence that is scientifically irrelevant.

The State of Texas is about to execute a mentally retarded man on April 11,

2007. Stop this madness.

Respectfully submitted,

Ward Larkin

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