Thursday, June 29, 2006

1st Annual fast and vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty in Texas

If you want to join us on July 1st- July 2nd in front of the Texas Capitol please register online.

Free community housing at the First United Methodist Church


Delia Perez Meyer - Sister of Louis Castro Perez
Tony Ford
Louis Castro Perez
Randy Arroyo Baez - former juvenile death row inmate
Nanon Williams - former juvenile death row inmate
Derrick O'Brian
Justin Fuller
Mauricio Brown
William Wyatt
Robert Will
Kenneth Foster
Andre Simpson
Reginal Blanton
Robert Woodard
Shannon Thomas
Marion Dudley
Tommie Hughes
Timothy Titsworth
Lamont Reese - may he rest in peace
Remember Desmond Jennings, Shaka Gary Graham
Todd Willingham
Kamau Wilkerson
Emerson Rudd
Sandrine Ageorges (Italy)

STRUGGLE HARD !! and "En La Lucha" !!

Quote of the day! Kansas v. Marsh , No. 04-1170

Justice David H. Souter, said the majority opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, undermined efforts to eliminate "freakish capital sentencing."

"freakish capital sentencing"

Monday, June 26, 2006

Press Release

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
(210) 601-7231

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.

On Carlos Deluna!

The thought of executing an innocent person is perhaps our criminal
justice system's worst nightmare. People are wrongfully convicted and
sent to prison all too often. These mistakes, however, can be corrected.

But with the death penalty, there is no instant replay or "do-overs."
We cannot un-execute someone. Therefore, it was indeed disturbing to read
recent media reports strongly suggesting that Carlos DeLuna was innocent
of the crime for which he was executed by the state of Texas in
December1989. DeLuna, sadly, may not be alone in this category. Other
mediareports over the past year have strongly suggested that Ruben Cantu
and Cameron Todd Willingham, executed by Texas in 1993 and 2004
respectively, were also innocent.

The Texas Legislature should enact a moratorium on executions in the
regular session that starts in January. We need to take a time out on
executions and study what causes wrongful convictions to occur and why
innocent people are at risk of being executed in Texas. The best way to
ensure that innocent people are not executed is to end the death penalty
permanently. That is the only way to prevent the tragedy of Carlos DeLuna
and his family from repeating itself when another innocent person is

Friday, June 23, 2006

Did this man die...for this man's crime?

On Dec 7, 1989, Carlos De Luna was executed in Texas for a murder in Corpus Christi. But a Chicago Tribune investigation has uncovered evidence he was not the killer:

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According to NBC Nightline there were no finger prints or any physical evidence at the
crime scene and Carlos DeLuna was executed based on a false eye witness testimony. The
possible killer is another man named Carlos who bragged many times about the murder and later died in prison.

Tomorrow ABC Weekly Edition is going to have a more detailed report.
Chicago Tribune is going to publish the article starting this Sunday. They have posted a short video preview of the story online.

Carlos in his last statement said, "I want to say I hold no grudges. I hate no
one. I love my family. Tell everyone on death row to keep the faith and don’t
give up."

This breaking news comes two years after The Chicago Tribune reported in November 2004 that Cameron Willingham was also probably innocent despite being executed by Texas in 2004. Willingham had been sentenced to death for an arson fire that killed his three daughters. Willingham’s last words were: "I am an innocent man, convicted of a crime I did not commit," Willingham said angrily. "I have been persecuted for 12 years for something I did not do."

In November 2005, The Houston Chronicle reported that Ruben Cantu, who was executed by Texas in 1993, was also probably innocent. Sam Millsap, Bexar Co. district attorney at the time of Cantu's conviction – has said that he was the man "who is at least partially responsible for the execution of the 1st innocent man in the State of Texas”.

Important news likely to break over the weekend by Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune is planning to break a big story about an execution (innocence?) in Texas over the weekend. We don't know the details yet. This news story is likely to increase the criticism of the death penalty system in Texas and will give us more reason to ask for an end to the death penalty in Texas.

Also NBC Nightline might cover the story tonight at 10:30 PM.

Don't forget to register for the Starvin' For Justice 2006 - Texas

For more information go to:

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On the 6th Anniversary of Shaka Sankofa’s Murder by the State of Texas and George W. Bush

I met Shaka Sankofa face to face for the first time in the winter of 1998. It was a bitterly cold and oppressive morning on death row. Two nights before, I and 6 six other men had been captured during a failed escape attempt and as a result the prison was under a system wide security lockdown. There would be no recreation and no hot meals for the indefinite future.

The cage that I was place in was without a mattress and my clothes were effectively stripped away. I paced back and forth for most of that night to stay warm but by dawn I was so utterly exhausted that I laid down on the cold steel bunk. With a toilet paper role as my pillow, I slept until the next day.

When I finally came to, a Black man in handcuffs was standing in front of my cage arguing with a group of guards. By the way the guards kept anxiously look into my cage, they were obviously talking about me. I got up to listen.

After a better look, I realized the Black man was Shaka. He was spitting out a fiery lecture on the constitutional rights of prisoners, demanding my bare necessities and refusing to return to his cage until they allowed him to speak with me. I, on the other hand, was getting in the best position to reach through the bars and grab one of the guards. It was all that I could do to help the brother. I knew he was soon to get jumped on. But to my surprise, the guards conceded. I was brought a pair of boxers with the promise of a mattress and a blanket later in the day.

Shaka was facing a pending execution date at that time. But when the brother stepped to the bars to speak with me, his concern was entirely about MY well-being. Shaka Sankofa was willing to sacrifice himself for me. We became friends in that moment and remained so until his final execution date.

Shaka Sankofa was a leader. A father. A student of revolutionary ideology. A strong, analytical, intelligent Black man with the heart of a lion.

But above all, Shaka Sankofa is a selfless spirit, a constant flame in the struggle, reminding us all of our right to stand strong and our duty to fight relentlessly.

As we celebrate Shaka’s life today, may we also embrace and carry on his fight against injustice.

Long live that African! Long live Shaka Sankofa!

Howard Guidry, June 22, 2005, from the Harris County Jail

(Howard Guidry is an innocent man who has spent the last decade on death row in Texas after being forced into confessing to a crime he knew nothing about. In September, 2003, Federal Judge Vanessa Gilmore threw out the forced confession, overturned his conviction and ordered Harris County to release or retry him in 180 days. Texas appealed her ruling but lost, so in April of this year Howard was sent from the Polunsky Unit to the Harris County Jail. He is now set to be retried on July 17. Without the coerced confession, the Houston DA has no evidence on Guidry. Support this young man's fight for freedom!
Attend the next meeting of the Howard Guidry Justice Committee on Tuesday, June 27, at SHAPE Community Center, 3815 Live Oak, in Houston, TX at 6:00 PM. For more information call Sister Njeri at 713-237-0357 or email

Howard Guidry
Shaka Sankofa, Executed June 22, 2000

Monday, June 12, 2006

Good news from SCOTUS!

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court made it easier Monday for death row inmates to contest the lethal injections used across the country for executions and to get DNA evidence before judges in a pair of rulings that hinted at fresh caution on capital punishment.

The decisions, both written by moderate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, ease the rules for longtime prisoners to get their cases back into court and could add years to their appeals.

"Today's decisions are further evidence of the Supreme Court's increasing discomfort with many aspects of the death penalty system," said Steven Shapiro, national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The vote was unanimous in allowing condemned inmates to make special federal court claims that the chemicals used in executions are too painful — and therefore amount to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

It was a slap to the Bush administration and 25 states, which supported Florida in arguing that allowing new appeals would jeopardize finality and justice for victims' families.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

2006 Texas Democratic Party Convention in Fort Worth

The Texas Democratic Party passed a resolution calling for the Moratorium on Executions during the 2006 TDP Convention. They also approved a platform that calls for a moratorium on executions and the establishment of a statewide Office of Public Defenders for Capital Cases. The resolution and platform was drafted by TMN's Scott Cobb, who was a member of the 2006 TDP Chair's Advisory Committee on the Platform.

Here is a video clip from our table:

Monday, June 05, 2006

Death Penalty - Mistake

An anti-capital punishment commercial showing the details of one man's case.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

2006 Anti Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break Video at the Capitol

Renny Cushing: Renny Cushing is the founder and Executive Director of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights. His father’s murder in ... all » 1988 has shaped his work as an advocate for crime victims and as an opponent of capital punishment.

Audrey Lamm: Audry is a senior at the University of Oregon. When Audrey was two years old her mother and her mothers friend were murdered in Nebraska, and Audrey was in the building when the killing took place. The killer was apprehended, tried, convicted and sentenced to death. Several years ago, as the date of execution for her mom's killer approached, Audrey and her father, Gus, became involved in an effort to prevent the killer's execution. The Killer, Randy Reeves, had his life spared and is now serving life in prison instead of facing execution.

Christina Lawson: Christina Lawson has suffered the loss of her father and her husband. Her father was murdered when she was a child and her husband, David Martinez, was executed this past summer, July 28, 2005. She has witnessed the pain from both sides: the loss of her father, the anger and hate felt towards his killer, the loss of her husband, the sorrow for his victim's family and loved ones, the loss of a Daddy for their child.