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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Death Penalty Awareness Week (Feb. 27-Mar. 3)

From the Campaign to End the Death Penalty website:

    The Campaign to End the Death Penalty has designated February 27 to March 3 as Death Penalty Awareness Week. During this week, which coincides with "International Abolition Day" on March 1, activists plan to organize anti-death penalty events in the form of meetings, actions and informational tables on campuses and in communities across the country. Activities will raise awareness about the system of capital punishment and demand an end to this cruel and unusual punishment.

    This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Gregg v. Georgia Supreme Court ruling that reinstated the use of the death penalty in 1976. The Gregg ruling instituted changes in the law that were supposed to fix serious flaws in the death penalty--flaws so troubling the court halted all executions four years earlier.

    In the 30 years since, we have seen over 1,000 people executed--and more than 120 people exonerated and freed from death row. The system is so broken that one person condemned to death is proven innocent and freed for every eight people who have been executed during the past 30 years.

    The execution system has compiled an ugly record over these 30 years. The vast majority of people sent to death row end up there not because of the crime they committed (if they committed any crime at all), but because they could not afford to hire a lawyer. Time and time again, people of color have been sentenced to death by all-white juries, even though the Constitution states that defendants have a right to a jury of their peers. Time and time again, people have been sent to death row based on mistaken eyewitness identification, snitch testimony, shoddy forensic testing, and prosecutorial misconduct.

    The time to do away with the death penalty system is 30 years overdue! Abolish the death penalty NOW!

Join us on the UT campus and around Austin this week for Death Penalty Awareness Week. Help us tell the State of Texas that it's time for abolition!

As of now our events for death penalty awareness week are as follows:

Monday, Feb. 27th

Come to a panel discussion at 7pm featuring Sandra Reed, who is the mother of innocent death row inmate Rodney Reed. Come hear about the new developments in Rodney's case and find out how you can help. Jeannine Scott and Bryan McCann of the Austin chapter of the Campaign will be on hand as well to share their thoughts on various aspects of the death penalty. Lastly, we'll have a "Live From Death Row" with Illinois inmate Stanley Howard.

For this event, we'll be meeting in BUR 208. Burdine is located just off of Dean Keeton street. Look here for a map. You may be able to find parking on the UT campus. Many spots don't require permits after 5:45pm. MAKE SURE TO LOOK AT THE SIGNS, however. You may also be able to find parking on the streets around campus. There are also several parking garages closeby that charge a small fee.

Tuesday, Feb. 28th

We'll be on the West Mall between 11am and 2pm. Stop by to sign our petitions and for information about why 30 years of the death penalty is enough.


Join us for a rally in front of the Texas State Capitol at 5:30pm. Make sure to bring your anti-death penalty posters. This event is being sponsored by sponsored by the CEDP, Texas Moratorium Network, National Lawyers Guild–UT Law School Chapter, Amnesty International–UT Chapter, and the International Socialist Organization.

Thursday, March 2nd

We'll be on the Speedway Mall in front of Gregory Gym from 11am to 2pm, where we'll have another rally. Stop by to sign our petitions and get more info on the death penalty in Texas and the US.

Friday, March 3rd

Come to our fundraising party at the 21st CO-OP to enjoy music and refreshments for a small donation. Time to be announced later this week.

We'd love for you to come out to as many of these events as you can. Keep checking back at this site for any updates to the schedule.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Taylor Stay Upheld

Last week, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, voted to uphold a stay of execution for Michael Taylor of Missouri. The stay was granted by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Newly appointed Judge Alito voted with the majority, thus allowing the appelate court judges to make their decision on the matter.

Read more here.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Execution: Robert Neville, Jr. (2/8/06)

Robert Neville, Jr. of Tarrant County is scheduled for execution this Wednesday, February 8th, at 6pm. Neville was convicted of kidnapping and murdering Amy Robinson in 1998. Neville admits to the murder, but says that he and his accomplice Michael Hall did not kidnap Robinson. Without the kidnapping charge, Neville would not have been convicted of capital murder. He presented this information to the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals; however, this court refused to hear this information since he did not bring it before state courts. Moreover, Neville may have been suffering from a psychiatric disorder at the time of the murder, and his trial attorney seems to have made little effort to present this information.

The Campaign the End the Death Penalty is opposed to capital punishment in all cases. Please join us in protesting Neville's execution. We will be meeting behind the governor's mansion on Lavaca, in between 10th and 11th, from 5:30-6:30.

(Source: National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, www.ncadp.org)