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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Here Are Some Important Upcoming Dates Concerning the Texas Death Penalty

October 6-7 -- Judge Charlie Baird to convene a Court of Inquiry in case of Cameron Todd Willingham to determine if Texas wrongfully convicted and executed an innocent person.

Before October 8 -- The three-judge all-Republican review panel is expected to announce its decision in appeal of Judge Sharon Keller, who was given a "Public Warning" by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Various possible outcomes include dismissal of the finding by the SCJC; allowing Keller to appeal again at a full hearing of all the evidence; or sending the case back to the SCJC for it to reconsider its "Public Warning".

October 13 -- The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in case of Hank Skinner to determine if he may seek testing of DNA evidence through a civil rights lawsuit. Skinner is on death row in Texas. If he is not allowed to test the DNA evidence, then Texas may execute an innocent person.

October 14 -- Texas is scheduled to execute Gayland Bradford, who would be the 464th person executed since 1982 and the 225th under current Texas Governor Rick Perry. Bradford may have mental retardation. His IQ was tested as 68 by the Texas Department of Corrections when he was a 17-year-old first offender.

October 19 -- Frontline on PBS to air documentary "Death by Fire" about the case of Todd Willingham. Watch it on on PBS on TV or online at the Frontline website. Willingham was executed in 2004 but there is a growing consensus that he was wrongfully convicted and was innocent. Hold a watch gathering in your school or home.

October 21 -- Texas is scheduled to execute Larry Wooten, who would be the 465th person executed since 1982 and the 226th under current Texas Governor Rick Perry.

October 30 -- 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty at the Texas Capitol in Austin starting at 2 PM. Last year's march was the largest anti-death penalty rally in Texas since 2000. Organized by a statewide coalition of Texas anti-death penalty organizations and other groups. Special guests include innocent, death row exonerees, family members of murder victims, community leaders, family members of people on death row and others.

November 2 -- Election for governor of Texas between Republican Rick Perry, who was governor in 2004 when Todd Willingham was wrongfully executed, and Bill White the Democratic former mayor of Houston, as well as Kathie Glass from the Libertarian Party and Deb Shafto from the Green Party.

November 8 -- Judge Kevin Fine in Houston will convene a hearing on the constitutionality of the death penalty and whether the fact that innocent people are at risk of execution puts the death penalty in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

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