Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lessons learned from the Kenneth Foster Victory

There are certainly many lessons to learn from the Kenneth Foster victory. The victory was the result of the entire Texas anti-death penalty movement working together, including every anti-death penalty organization in Texas, as well as Kenneth's lawyers and family members and some long-time supporters of Kenneth from other U.S. states and around the world.

One important lesson is that organizing works. In particular, affecting public opinion through grassroots organizing works. Pressuring elected officials works. Texas is not a lost cause, as some people outside Texas sometimes seem to think. Here in Texas, we have known for some time that we are making progress. But, we also know that the national anti-death penalty movement should be investing more time and money in Texas. Investing more financial and other resources into the Texas anti-death penalty effort would pay off in more of the type of successes that we saw with the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign.

The Texas anti-death penalty movement would like to ask for more help from national funders and organizations. Some people do understand that Texas is where a lot of effort should be expended. For instance, we are thrilled that the Journey of Hope is coming back to Texas this fall. But, we need more resources and more help. With increased attention to Texas, we will be able to win more often and we will be able to significantly reduce popular support in Texas for the death penalty and greatly reduce the number of executions that take place here.

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