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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.

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