Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Student Government resolutions

The Lamar University Student Government Association will read, hear public comment on, and vote on a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions in Texas. Aron Agustsson, President of Lamar University Students Against the Death Penalty (LUSADP), authored and brought the resolution forward for consideration.
Over the last few weeks, LUSADP has been sending members out to speak with student organizations and classes to garner support for resolution among students. T J Geiger, a Teaching Assistant in the Lamar University English Department and a member of the Board of Directors for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, gave the first of these outreach sessions to the campus N.A.A.C.P. on February 1, the opening day of Black History Month.
"We must end the death penalty because it is racially biased," Geiger said. "It's nothing more than a legalized system of lynching. When I think of the days when black bodies were strung up on Southern trees, I understand that a modern version of that goes on today in death chambers when disproportionate numbers of black and brown bodies are strapped to gurneys."
LUSADP has secured the endorsement of 3 student organizations: the NAACP, the African Student Association, and the Black Student Association. They are still in conversation with several other student groups.
Agustsson is in his first year at of study Lamar University and plans to study criminal justice.
For more information, contact:
Mr. Aron Agustsson, President LUSADP, 201-6190
Mr. Jesse Doiron, Advisor LUSADP, 880-8564
Student Government, 409-880-8891
Mr. T J Geiger, NCADP, 880-8568


Do you want to pass a moratorium or abolition resolutions in your City Council or Student Government? If so please take a look at TSADP's project resolution:


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stop AOL's e-mail tax

The very existence of online civic participation and the free Internet as we know it are under attack by America Online.

AOL recently announced what amounts to an "email tax." Under this pay-to-send system, large emailers willing to pay an "email tax" can bypass spam filters and get guaranteed access to people's inboxes—with their messages having a preferential high-priority designation.1

Charities, small businesses, civic organizing groups (ex. Texas Students Against the Death Penalty), and even families with mailing lists will inevitably be left with inferior Internet service unless they are willing to pay the "email tax" to AOL. We need to stop AOL immediately so other email hosts know that following AOL's lead would be a mistake.

Please go here to sign the petition:
Can you sign this emergency petition to America Online and forward it to your friends?
Sign here: http://civic.moveon.org/emailtax/

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Death Row Blogger's Advice for Life --- Party! (Sort of) -- Houston Press

A Death Row Blogger's Advice for Life
By Eric Rich

Washington Post Staff Writer

As Vernon Evans sat in his cell on Maryland's death row last spring, he had more to ponder than his own execution.

There was the lonely Brazilian who needed his advice, and a fellow from the District whose question deserved a reply, and a global audience tuned in to the wisdom of a man whose life was on the wane.

Evans was blogging from behind bars.

Vernon Lee Evans Jr. -- amateur advice columnist and convicted murderer -- is scheduled to die next month by lethal injection. He is one of the very few death row inmates to have a blog and, activists say, perhaps the only condemned man worldwide to use a blog to take questions from readers.

Read more.....


Party! (Sort of)
Houston Press

If you're getting yourself ready for spring break this year, forget about packing the beer bong and rubbers. Why head to South Padre to soak up the sun when you can go to Austin for seminars about capital punishment?

That's the thinking of a group called Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, which for the third straight year is hosting an "alternative spring break" that makes up for a lack of fun by adding a big dose of self-righteousness.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mike Badnarik and Supreme Court

Austin – Former Libertarian party candidate for President and know candidate for congress in district 10 of Texas spoke on February 12th in Austin at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater to a mixed crowd of proud Texas third party voters, and numerous members of Texas Students Against the Death Penalty. In a symbolic and sympathetic move he signed a petition calling for a moratorium on executions. The event was organized by the We the People Foundation for constitutional Education and included the screening of a documentary by award-winning producer Aaron Russo’s “America…From Freedom to Fascism,”

TSADP will ask all the candidates running for Texas governor from every political party to sign the moratorium petition, A few months ago Musician, writer, Texas Jewboy and now gubernatorial hopeful Kinky Friedman signed TSADP’s moratorium petition in San Antonio. Mr. Friedman covered a wide range of topics spanning environmental issues (when asked what he would do about Hill Country Development he responded “Keep ‘em the hell out!”) to the growing topic of concern - a moratorium on Texas executions. The Kinkster said that his main concern was to focus and to be “Damn sure we won’t execute the wrong guy”. Mr. Friedman went so far as to boldly state he would find an alternative to Texas’ “Eject ‘em or inject ‘em” policy on the death penalty.
Presented with the petition, Friedman said, “I’ll sign anything but bad legislation” and in both a emblematic and Kinky move signed the Texas moratorium petition, proving that he’s proud to be a man of his word and his beliefs.

Pictures and video of Kinky Friedman signing the moratorium petition are on the website of TSADP.


Justice Match!

Find "Your Court Date!" Learn how your views align with those of the members of the highest court in the land. You will be asked to consider civil liberties questions from recent Supreme Court cases, then see which of the nine Supreme Court Justices voted with you on a specific case. Find your "Justice Match" and learn more about the vital issues the Court faces each term.


Friday, February 10, 2006

A video of last year's Spring Break

Last year, Sarah Garrahan, one of the people who attended the 2005 anti-death penalty alternative spring break made a 13 minute video about it. Her video has scenes with several of the people who participated, including Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Rep Harold Dutton, Martha Cotera, Delia Perez Meyer, Ambreen Rahman, Hooman Hedayati, Les Breeding, Gaby Hernandez, Coe Selgestad, Casey Urban, Abe Bonowitz, Lily Hughes, Vanessa Andrade, Juhyung Kim, Carol Byars, Omar Neal, Rachel Penticuff, Robert Grebel, Byron Landry, Scott Cobb, Randi Jones, Chaunte Sterling, Jesse Quackenbush, and others.

Click here to watch the video on Google Video.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rallying at the Governor's mansion during last year's spring break

Originally uploaded by niris.

Here is a picture from last year's spring break. This was Direct Action Day, when we all went to the Texas Governor's Mansion and held a rally.

2006 Anti-Death Penalty Spring Break

Alternative spring break?

Alternative Spring Breaks are designed to give students something more meaningful to do during their week off, rather than just spending time at the beach or sitting at home catching up on school work. The specific purpose of this Alternative Spring Break is to bring students to Austin for five days of anti-death penalty activism, education and entertainment. We will provide participants with workshops that will teach them skills they can use to go back home and set up new anti-death penalty student organizations or improve ones that may already exist. The skills participants will learn can also be used in other issues besides the death penalty. Activities include a Death Penalty Issues Lobby Day and a direct action day.

Students will gain valuable training and experience in grassroots organizing, lobbying, preparing a direct action and media relations. They can apply what they learn against the death penalty or in their activities involving other issues.

Although the majority of the participants will be students, it is also a good opportunity for young people who are not students to become active. There are after all lots of young people who for various reasons don't go to college, but who may want to do something against the death penalty. The events and workshops are also open to the general public of any age, although the housing should be reserved for young people.

"I wanted to do something more meaningful during my Spring Break. I figured this would be the place where I could do that."
Chaunte Sterling, a senior at Sam Houston State University (SHSU). she is the vice-president of the chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice.

Experience and Friendship

Participation in the Annual Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break is an invaluable experience. Participants will come away with firsthand knowledge of the anti-death penalty movement, a new perspective on issues facing our country, and new friendships that will last a lifetime. During the spring break students will find plenty of free time to enjoy Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World.

At first I thought we had to go to workshops the whole day. But I had lots of free time to go out shopping and have fun with my friends” Casey Urban