For immediate release: June 25, 2006
Contact: Delia Perez Meyer, (512)444-5366
Scott Cobb, President, Texas Moratorium Network (512) 689-1544
Hooman Hedayati, President, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty
Evidence of Possible Execution of Innocent Man in Carlos De Luna Case Uncovered by an Investigation Conducted by The Chicago Tribune Warrants Halt to Tuesday's Execution of "Railroad Killer" Angel Maturino Resendiz
An immediate halt to executions in Texas is warranted by The Chicago Tribune's investigation finding that Texas may have executed an innocent man named Carlos De Luna. The Tribune began publishing the results of its investigation in the paper's June 25th edition. The De Luna case is the third time in 19 months that a major newspaper investigation has concluded that an innocent person may have been executed by the state of Texas.
The Chicago Tribune previously reported in November 2004 that Cameron Willingham was probably innocent of setting the arson fire that killed his three daughters. Willingham was executed by Texas in 2004. The Houston Chronicle has reported that Ruben Cantu, who was executed by Texas in 1993, was also probably innocent.
"Reports that three innocent people may have been executed by Texas should shake the souls of every person in this state", said Scott Cobb, president of Texas Moratorium Network. "These continuing reports of executions of innocent people indicate that we now have an emergency situation in Texas. The death penalty system here is clearly not capable of sorting out the guilty from the innocent before strapping people down for their lethal injections. Texas district attorneys and judges should enact a moratorium on executions by agreeing to cancel all execution dates until the next session of the Texas Legislature has an opportunity to address the crisis", said Cobb.
The execution of Angel Maturino Resendiz, known as "The Railroad Killer", on June 27 may endanger the life of another innocent person. There is no doubt that Maturino Resendiz is guilty of murder, however his execution may mean the family of another person on death row named
Louis Castro Perez may not be able to prove Perez's innocence. The Railroad Killer has been convicted of one murder and is suspected in at least 14 other killings nationwide. "If Maturino Resendiz is executed before a full investigation into the possibility that he committed additional murders, including those for which my brother has been sentenced to death, then Texas risks becoming responsible for yet another innocent person's execution", said Delia Perez Meyer, sister of Louis Castro Perez.
The Texas Democratic Party endorsed a moratorium on executions in its 2006 party platform approved at the party's state convention June 10. The Travis County Commissioners Court has also passed a resolution calling for a moratorium. Rep. Harold Dutton of Houston has introduced legislation to establish a moratorium on executions in every regular session of the Texas Legislature since 2001.