Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Charlie Baird Campaign Event in Houston for Travis County District Attorney

Charlie Baird November 28, 2011 (Photo by Scott Cobb)
If you live in Houston, Charlie Baird invites you to an event he is having in Houston. If Charlie wins in Austin, he will be a force for reform and innovation that could also have an effect outside Travis County.

Message from Charlie Baird:

"I wanted to send my facebook friends this quick reminder about my campaign for Travis County District Attorney in HOUSTON on Thursday, 12/1, at Patronella's Restaurant, 813 Jackson Hill. You can get directions by calling 713-863-8223 or from the website at

The event, which is being hosted by Robert Scardino, begins at 4:30. I am looking forward to seeing you, Racehorse, Dick DeGeurin, Dan Cogdell, Craig Washington and many other long-time friends.

This race is a great opportunity to bring meaningful change and reform to the criminal justice system, and I could really use your support as I work to replace an entrenched incumbent.

Please R.S.V.P. to: for us to have an approximate head count.

If you cannot attend but wish to make a contribution, please go to my campaign website -"

Thanks, Charlie

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, November 25, 2011

Moratorium on Executions in Oregon; Could Texas Be Next in 2013?

The moratorium movement continues to win successes. The governor of Oregon has declared a moratorium on executions. If more people would push for a moratorium here in Texas, we could stop executions much faster than by just pushing for abolition, which is an inept strategy when pursued as the only option for stopping executions.

We could have a moratorium on executions in Texas if more people would support the bill filed each legislative session by Rep Harold Dutton of Houston that would enact a moratorium. Instead there are people and groups in Texas who oppose the death penalty, but do not support a moratorium. The misguided abolition-only strategy is allowing for executions to continue in Texas longer than they otherwise would and it allowed at least one innocent person to be executed who would be alive if more people supported a moratorium in Texas. We went to the Texas Legislature in 2001 asking for a moratorium. Todd Willingham was executed in 2004.

More about the moratorium in Oregon:

Gov. John Kitzhaber of Oregon on Tuesday said he would halt the execution of a death row inmate scheduled for next month and that he would allow no more executions in the state during his time in office.

“It is time for Oregon to consider a different approach,” Governor Kitzhaber, a Democrat elected last fall, said in a news conference in Salem on Tuesday afternoon. “I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am governor.”
The Texas Legislature convenes again in January 2013 and we will again be pushing for a moratorium on executions in Texas. We hope more people will join us and help us achieve a stop to executions in Texas.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Death Penalty Report: Fewest Texas Executions in 15 Years

Texas executed 13 people this year, which is the lowest number in 15 years since 1996. The highest number of executions was 40 in 2000.

8 people were sentenced to death in 2011 in Texas. Only 6 of the 254 counties in Texas sent anyone to death row in 2011. Harris County sent three people. Travis County, often considered the most progressive county in Texas, once again sent another person to death row this year, just like last year and the year before. All 3 of Travis County's recent death sentences have come while Rosemary Lehmberg has been District Attorney.

The number of new death sentences has declined over the last several years in large part because people who serve on juries are increasingly choosing life without parole as an alternative to the death penalty, because members of juries have read about so many mistakes in the system when innocent people have been convicted only to be exonerated years later.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

CEDP's Annual Conference in Austin This Weekend November 11-13

Hank Skinner's wife Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner will be one of the speakers this weekend at the national conference of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, which is being held for the first time in Austin, Texas. 

Attend the conference and come hear Sandrine talk about Hank's case. Also speaking will be Liz Gilbert, the friend of Todd Willingham who was instrumental in finding a fire expert to reexamine the evidence in his case.
The Prison System is the New Jim Crow
The CEDP"s 11th Annual Convention
November 11-13
At Ventana Del Soul
1834 East Oltorf, Austin, Texas

Register at:

This November, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is headed straight to the belly of the beast—Texas—for a weekend of struggle and organizing!

The murder of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia on September 21 horrified millions of people the world over—and has sparked a renewed national discussion of the death penalty in the United States. We will spend the weekend sharing our stories and experiences, working to build our forces and strategizing the next steps forward for our movement and our organization.
The renewed national discussion about the death penalty, in the media and among activists, is about innocence and the death penalty – but it is also about the racism in the criminal justice system.  It shows the urgent need to strike a final blow to capital punishment and to challenge the whole INjustice system – the system that Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow. As Troy Davis said before his execution: 
"There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country."
The CEDP annual national convention will take up questions on how to build a movement that combats racism in the criminal justice system, supports resistance behind bars, aims to end mass incarceration and harsh punishment and makes the death penalty history.  
And with Governor Rick Perry running for president, the eyes of the nation are on the Texas death machine and what activists are doing to fight it – we have a chance to shine a spotlight on the death penalty in Texas with this year's convention. Click here to download the full program for the convention.
Featured speakers include former prisoners, family members, activists, lawyers, scholars and others:
Former prisoners: Lawrence Hayes, Jazz Hayden, Mark Clements and Darby Tillis.
Family members: Sandra Reed, Delia Perez Myers, Jeannine Scott, Terri Been, Barbara Lewis, Lawrence Foster Sr, Kenneth Foster Sr., and Sandrine Ageorges Skinner, Troy Davis' sister Martina Correia will address the convention via telecom along with her son DeJaun Correia.
Activists:  Scott Cobb, Jesse Muhammad, Jack Bryson, Jessica Escobar and Elizabeth Gilbert and many others. 
The convention kicks off with a Friday evening event at the University of Texas, "Southern Injustice:  Fighting racism and the death penalty". 

Friday, November 11th at 7 PM
Burdine Hall, Room 136, University of Texas at Austin
The panel features 
Sandrine Ageorges Skinner (wife of Texas death row prisoner Hank Skinner, scheduled to be killed on November 9th), Jesse Muhammad (Activist and journalist with the Nation of Islam out of Houston) and Sandra Reed (mother of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed.)
Other sessions over the weekend include:

We ARE all Troy Davis: The struggle continues * The Prison System is the New Jim Crow * Prisoner Resistance: From Attica to DRIVE to Pelican Bay * Rick Perry, Cameron Todd Willingham and the scandal of the Texas death penalty * The Texas Law of Parties: What it is and why we need to fight it. * Not in our name: How executions create victims on both sides.

Sphere: Related Content