Monday, January 30, 2012

Former Death Row prisoner Tim McKinney has a new trial date - April 9, 2012

The struggle to stop the execution of Troy Davis last fall showed the brutal reality of innocent, African-American men on death rows across this country. Now we face yet another urgent case: the time is now to stand with Tim McKinney. Tim McKinney is an innocent man who was on Tennessee's death row for over a decade
He is going to be re-tried for murder on April 9, 2012.

We are seeking help negotiating this new stage in Tim’s struggle for justice and would appreciate your advice and contribution.  How can we PACK THE COURTS April 9th?!

            Mr. McKinney is former prisoner of TN’s Death Row.  This past year Tim was granted a new trial and he is now in the Memphis County jail awaiting an April 9, 2012 hearing.  I have worked with Tim in cooperation with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty since 2002. 

Our efforts include securing pro-bono counsel for his appeals process with the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell (read more at and being featured at the CEDP annual conference on multiple occasions.  We have put together a substantial website at  The case is also featured on the Tennesseeans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty’s website at

At this time we are reaching out to the TN community to get support in anticipation of a challenging process in the courts.  Being granted a new trial is a huge victory but Tim has faced additional challenges in Memphis. 
We kindly ask that you take the time to look over Tim’s case and consider how you or other TN activists and professionals might help our cause.  Please let me know what I can do to assist you in joining our campaign.  We know your time is valuable.

How can we PACK THE COURTS April 9th?!

                                    Thank you for your consideration,
                                    Katharine Bawa Smith
                                    Timothy McKinney Innocence Committee
                                                (703) 336 3440      

I am inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words: "I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime, rape and murder included.  Capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology, and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Execution Watch Jan. 26: Rodrigo Hernandez

Rodrigo Hernandez

By Execution Watch

After a hiatus of more than two months, Texas will gear up its death machine Thursday for the state killing of Rodrigo Hernandez. Execution Watch will provide live coverage and commentary on KPFT FM-Houston, starting at 6 p.m. Central Time.

The show may be heard online at > Listen.

It will be the first execution of 2012 in the busiest death chamber in America. Six other executions are on the calendar in Huntsville over the next three months.

Show Preview:

"Unless a stay is issued, we'll broadcast ..."
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, 6-7 PM CT
KPFT Houston 90.1 FM, HD-3
Listen online: > Listen
*** Join the Execution Watch discussion on Facebook ***

RODRIGO HERNANDEZ, 40, condemned following his 2004 conviction in the murder of a Frito-Lay saleswoman in San Antonio a decade earlier. The U.S. Supreme Court declined in 2010 to hear his appeal. Background at > Backpage on Rodrigo Hernandez.

Host: MARLO BLUE is news anchor for KPFT, where she interviews major newsmakers and helms the live Local News broadcast each weekday at 4:00.

Legal Analyst: JIM SKELTON, a legal educator and retired attorney, the native Texan has seen capital trials from both the prosecution defense tables. Joining him, attorneys SUSAN ASHLEY and LARRY DOUGLAS.

Prof. Robert Bohm
Featured Interview: PROF. ROBERT BOHM is the author of the just-released fourth edition of DEATHQUEST, the first textbook dedicated to capital punishment. Prof. Bohm, who once worked as a corrections officer,  teaches criminal justice at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Reporter, Death House, Huntsville: GLORIA RUBAC founder and leader, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement,

Reporter, Vigil, Houston: DAVE ATWOOD, a founder of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, will report from the vigil the group sponsors in Houston,

On Feb. 1, Texas plans to execute DONALD NEWBURY. We’ll broadcast the details, including any unresolved issues. Details:

PRODUCER: Elizabeth, eliza.tx.usa
THEME:  By Victoria Panetti, SheMonster International,
FACEBOOK: Execution Watch
KPFT FM-Houston is a flagship station of the nonprofit Pacifica Network.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

14 Arrested In Death Penalty Protest at Supreme Court


Inside, the Supreme Court was hearing arguments in a dusty federal tax case. Outside, police were arresting 14 death penalty protesters who unfurled a 30-foot wide banner with the message "STOP EXECUTIONS!" on the Court's marble plaza. One by one this morning, the demonstrators were escorted or dragged away for violating the federal law (40 U.S.C. 6135) that forbids "processions or assemblages" on Supreme Court grounds.
The protest marked the 35th anniversary of the Utah execution by firing squad of Gary Gilmore, the first execution since the high court's reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. It was a repeat of a similar demonstration five years ago, and in between, numerous others -- from Princeton philosopher Cornel West to demonstrators dressed like Guantanamo detainees -- have been arrested in the same location.
The demonstrators assembled beforehand at the nearby United Methodist Building where they discussed what to expect when arrested, and held hands in prayer. Bethesda, Maryland solo practitioner Mark Goldstone, longtime lawyer for Court protesters, briefed the group on the legalities, and told them, as he put it later, "It's too bad you aren't corporations, because then you would have more First Amendment protections."
Shortly after 10 a.m., the protesters ambled over to the Court to begin a process that they knew would end in arrest. In a 1983 decision United States v. Grace, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a no-protest zone on Court property. It allowed demonstrations on the public sidewalk in front of the Court, so the protesters today probably knew they were breaking the law as soon as they walked onto the Court's marble plaza.
Court police were out in force in anticipation of the protest, but they allowed the demonstrators to enter the plaza and begin climbing the majestic steps, even though the steps are no longer used as an entrance. Suddenly, one of the group took the rolled-up banner out from under his coat and the demonstrators, now facing the street, unfurled the banner for all to see. Encouraged nearly 100 demonstrators on the sidewalk, they chanted "Abolition now!" and "They say death row, we say hell no!"
Court police watched intently, but did nothing to stop the protest or to confiscate the banner.  After a few minutes, Court police chief Ross Swope came out from the Court building with a bullhorn to warn those holding the banner that they were in violation of the law and "will be arrested." After 10 more minutes of chants, the police started to move in with plastic handcuffs. The arrests came one at a time at one end of the banner. As each protester was taken away, those remaining spread out to keep the banner aloft. When only two protesters were left, they dropped it. As they were taken away, Court police folded up the banner neatly. After processing inside the Court building, the arrestees were expected to be detained overnight by D.C. police and arraigned on Wednesday.
Goldstone, a veteran observer of these demonstrations, said he was generally pleased with the conduct of the Court police. "They seemed very relaxed, and didn't prevent the demonstration from happening," Goldstone said, adding that he was impressed by their respectful handling of the banner. "They didn't just grab it away or treat it like an incendiary device."
Photograph: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

URGENT CASE UPDATE: Motion Denied for Rob Will. His case is now facing the 5th Circuit with NO lawyer

The information below was posted on Rob Will's blog. He received word this week that his motion has been denied by a federal judge and that his case will now go to the Fifth Circuit. Rob's support team has sent a list of what you can do to help.
Rob Will is an innocent man on Texas death row. He has been an inspiring fighter for justice in the DRIVE movement, often facing physical abuse by prison guards for peaceful protesting the death penalty and prison conditions. Please take a minute to learn about his case, pass on information to others, and drop him a line of solidarity.
Randi Jones Hensley
URGENT CASE UPDATE: Motion Denied for Rob Will. His case is now facing the 5th Circuit with NO lawyer.
It is with a very heavy heart and great sadness that I share with you the Judge issued a ruling in Rob Will's case last January 16, 2012 denying his motion and that leaves us headed to the Fifth Circuit. Robert Gene Will was wrongfully convicted of the murder of a Harris County Deputy in January 2002 and sentenced to death. Robert Will has proclaimed his innocence throughout and continues to do so from his cell on Death Row. Since his conviction a total of 5 new witnesses have come forward and provided sworn affidavits that state Robert Will is not the killer. 

Robert's case has been plagued with problems as a result of the incompetent court-appointed attorneys, as well as the injustice of the Texas judicial system.  His trial attorneys failed to investigate his case, went to trial unprepared and refused Robert the chance to actively participate in his own defense. His state habeas counsel was removed from the list of state approved appeals attorneys after he filed identical appeals for Robert Will and the "Railroad Serial Killer", Angel Maturino Resendiz. Neither appeal mentioned the defendants or their cases and both included incorrect conviction dates. Stephen Bright, president and senior councel of the Southern Center for Human Rights reffered to to Rob’s habeas counsel as "completely incompetent" and the subsequent acceptance of denial of the the Court of Criminal Appeals of Rob's appeal as an unjustified, unconcerned act. "But this poor quality of lawyering -Bright stated before the US House of Representatives- is so common in these courts that they just deny the appeals based on briefs that would not receive a passing grade in a first -year legal writing course." [September 22, 2009]

Rob's federal habeas attorney has also failed to present the available evidence of Robert's innocence. As the federal judge made it very clear in the denied motion Rob Will's case has errors of GRAVE PROPORTION in all its stages. To further add to the frustration, Rob's attorney filed a motion to withdraw as Rob's counsel which was granted by the court. That leaves us with NO attorney as Rob is facing the Fifth Circuit. Robert's case highlights the inadequacies and prejudices of the U.S justice system and in particular the injustice that the poorer members of American society receive.

The clock is ticking and Rob needs our help and support now more than ever. We'll be posting action in the following days, please take part in them! If you want to help, here are some things you can do for now:  

SPREAD THE WORD about Rob, his website, twitter @freerobwill1 and blog Let your friends and family know about Rob and what he is facing. Encourage them to read about his case and to befriend us on facebook You can also change your profile picture and use one of Rob's or of our campaign to create awareness.

Printable material like brochures and Rob's press kit in English, French and German ara available to download in Rob's website  and here too  You can also find them in ourFB albums here

We have also a youtube channel Lethal InjusticeFeel free to share those videos in English, French and German to spread the word about Rob.

If you haven't yet, "like" our NGO in Facebook  Lethal Injustice.

Drop a line to Rob Will and show him your solidarity. If you have never written to Rob Will but would like to take the opportunity to send him a message of support the quickest way (especially since the mail room is holding incoming and outgoing mail) is through JPay. These are emails that can be printed and delivered to him. It is 44 cents per page but it would mean the world to Rob to hear words of solidarity and encouragement. Their website is

If you can, consider giving a donation to help us find him effective representation IMMEDIATELY and continue with Rob's campaign. To help in our efforts to raise funds for his cause check out our web shop! There are solidarity items like the PERSEVERANCE unisex t-shirts with a bold graphic design. These are high quality 100% cotton shirts designed by Dennis Schröder from Supportershirt and printed by DirAction from Hamburg. And they come is all sizes! Or choose among the other items offered there.

We are organizing the next steps to follow and we'll let you know as soon as possible what we can do together. This is by no means the end. The fight goes on!

Thank you for your unwavering  solidarity and support!  

Rob Will's Support Team

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Case for a Second Chance

The case for a second chance
Socialist Worker
January 17, 2012

Marlene Martin of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty reports on the case of Robert Gattis--and what the fight to
save him says about the criminal justice system.

ROBERT GATTIS, who faces an execution date on Friday, January 20, has won the first pardons board recommendation
for clemency for a Delaware death row prisoner in the modern era of capital punishment. The state's Board of Pardons
voted 4-1 in favor of his death sentence being commuted to life without the possibility of parole.

Now, it is up to Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat and former parole board member himself, whether Gattis lives or dies.

Gattis was convicted of killing his girlfriend, Shirley Slay, during a domestic dispute in 1990, and he was sentenced to
death in 1992. He has spent the last 20 years on death row. Gattis has never denied shooting Shirley, but he has
expressed remorse for his actions ever since.

The parole board's decision to recommend clemency was unexpected, and opponents of the death penalty are thrilled
to have won this important round in the fight to save Robert. They say they are confident Markell will do the right
thing, given the board's decision. Exonerated Illinois death row prisoner Darby Tillis traveled 20 hours to join efforts to
try to help save Robert. "I was just so elated to hear the words that he had won his clemency yesterday," Tillis said. "It
just opened up floods of joy in my heart."

Delaware's parole board has never once, in 16 previous capital cases that came before it, recommended clemency.
Barbara Lewis, Robert's mother, attended the clemency hearing. "I could tell the board was listening when they heard
people speak in support of Robert," she said. "But it was so hard to tell what they were thinking. I wasn't sure they
even cared."

Sandy Jones, an activist with the Delaware chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and a professor at
Rowan University, agreed. She said:

Quite honestly, I was bracing myself and Barbara for bad news. I didn't think the board would vote this way, even
though Robert is surely deserving of clemency. I think this shows the changing mood with respect to the death
penalty, as well as the persuasive clemency fight waged on Robert's behalf.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

DURING THE hearing before the board, Gattis' lawyers presented evidence that Robert had suffered systematic abuse
and neglect while he was growing up. Their clemency petition describes how Robert was sexually violated at a young
age by members of his own family, including being anally raped, and how his stepfather beat and humiliated him.
Mental health experts who examined Robert described his case as one of "catastrophic abuse and neglect."

As a result of this abuse, Robert began to show signs early on that he was suffering--he would bite himself and
sometimes lash out in a rage. As Wanda, Robert's sister, tearfully told the board:

I always believed if people really knew Robert and what he lived through and what it did to him, they would
understand...I was molested by my own family members, and it hasn't been anything easy to let go. For the love of my
brother, please understand that he deserves a second chance. Not only does he keep our family going, he's doing the
same thing inside of these prison walls, and he's making a difference."

The clemency petition draws out a broader point that needs to be remembered in more cases like these where guilt or
innocence is not in doubt, but an injustice is nevertheless taking place:

There is no excuse or justification for Mr. Gattis's crime. Yet the horrific sexual and physical abuse he suffered provides
insight into the impairment of the man who committed that crime.

In Delaware, we have recently learned, to our shock and sorrow, that undetected childhood sexual and physical abuse
is widespread. Our state has begun to provide services to victims and training to those who come into frequent contact
with our children. We do so because we now know that without intervention, the effects of prolonged childhood
sexual abuse are long-lasting, and profoundly disruptive of its victims' abilities to function in intimate relationships.

Robert Gattis never received any such intervention. He was at the mercy of his abusers from preschool to adolescence.
His many abusers included trusted family members who took advantage of him, while no on--not a parent, not a
teacher, not a doctor or clergy person--came to his aid. Much of this abuse occurred on our watch, as he passed
through our schools virtually unnoticed, without meaningful intervention.

Members of the board were clearly moved by the other arguments made for stopping the execution. For example, his
clemency petition goes through 17 cases very similar to Roberts--involving domestic violence and murder--yet in all of
the others, the defendant received a sentence less than death. "The sentencing disparity in these cases has become too
great and offends a moral sense of proportionality," the board wrote in issuing its decision.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

WHILE IT is wonderful that the parole board has drawn the right conclusions--and Gov. Markell needs to, as well--you
can't help but wonder what impact this information would have had on the jury at his original trial, had they heard it.
But no jury or judge has ever heard about Robert's horrific history before. When it was first brought up in legal appeals
in 2006, the courts barred it from being presented on procedural grounds.

If the governor stops Robert's execution, his sentence will be commuted to life without the possibility of parole. This
would certainly be a victory over the death penalty, but it has to be asked why Robert shouldn't ever have a second
chance--especially in light of the evidence that has now seen the light of day that he never really had a first chance.

While the question of whether Robert should be freed isn't being discussed, it should be. Given the years he has spent
in prison--not to mention the horrific abuse he suffered before then--this would be the humane thing to do.

Another question that isn't being discussed in this case is the real way to combat domestic abuse, which is completely
bound up with the tragedy that sent him to death row.

Robert's early life of abuse--during which he never received any treatment--led him to attempt suicide, turn to alcohol
and act violently in relationships with those closest to him, including Shirley Slay. Certainly imposing the death penalty
or a life sentence on Robert will do nothing to stop similar types of crimes, because they originate in a society that
inflicts oppression and inequality on so many.

The only way to really stop crimes like these is to work for a society where the aim is for every child to be raised with
love and support--and if they are not, they have access to the kind of mental health and social work services they

While the question of whether Robert (and so many other Roberts) should get a second chance isn't being considered,
it is something activists will need to keep in the forefront of our struggle for justice as we go forward.

"Robert would be wonderful on the outside," says Sandy Jones. "I've known him for eight years, and he is well-loved
and respected on death row. He is a tireless advocate for everyone else, not just himself, and that has won him so
much love and respect."

Robert's mother Barbara, who has stood by her son during his incarceration, had this message to send to Robert's

I am so grateful to the efforts of the legal team and activists. It has been a united effort, and I want people to know
that this effort is appreciated. There are no words to express my love and gradiute for all the support, effort, prayers
and thoughts. I don't believe there will be any regrets. You've all opened the door of hope for a better tomorrow.

Delaware News Journal: Pardons Board Is Right to Recommend Clemency

Today, for the first time in the paper's history, the Delaware News Journal has published an editorial in support of clemency in a death penalty case.
Delaware's Board of Pardons has recommended that condemned prisoner Robert Gattis be allowed to live. The decision came this weekend in a thoughtful, judicious recommendation to the governor.

Mr. Gattis was condemned to death in 1992 for the earlier murder of Shirley Slay. Execution is scheduled for Jan. 20. No one disputed his guilt in the matter. The only question is the severity of the original sentence.

The Board of Pardons' 4-to-1 decision came almost a week after Mr. Gattis appeared before the board to ask for the clemency recommendation. In addition to rarely recommending clemency, board decisions usually come much more quickly than this one did.

It was obvious from the members' questioning at the hearing, from the length of their deliberation and from their statement Sunday, they took seriously the questions about Mr. Gattis' sentence.

These issues included the history of severe physical and sexual abuse Mr. Gattis suffered as a child. That history did not come to light until long after his trial. The board also noted that the jury's recommendation of the death penalty was not unanimous. In addition, the board pointed out that the punishment meted out in similar crimes did not call for the death penalty. For all of that, the board recommended clemency.

The board members added the condition that Mr. Gattis drop his legal appeals. In other words, he should spend the rest of his life behind bars. That condition is appropriate.

We hope Gov. Jack Markell accepts the board's recommendation and spares Mr. Gattis' life.

Civil Disobedience Planned to Mark 35th Anniversary of Executions At U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                                                         CONTACT:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                  SCOTT LANGLEY
16 January 2012                                                                                                      518-249-8094 (mobile)         

Civil Disobedience Planned to Mark 35th Anniversary of Executions
At U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC

9:45 am Wednesday – Press briefing at the United Methodist Building, Location: 100 Maryland Avenue, NE (next to U.S. Supreme Court)

WASHINGTON -- Thirty-five years after the execution of Gary Gilmore, the first execution under contemporary laws, members of the Abolitionist Action Committee will stage a highly visual demonstration at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 17. 

Participants from Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, DC, Utah, Kansas and New York will peacefully and visibly call for an immediate cessation of all executions in the United States through civil disobedience and the risk of arrest. 

One of the participants will be Randy Gardner, whose brother, like Gilmore, was executed in Utah by firing squad.  "My Brother Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed June 18th 2010 by the same state, by the same method as Gilmore.  I believed then, and I still believe now, that the death penalty is morally wrong.  I'm here to help abolish the death penalty by protesting in any shape or form." 

Thirty years ago, on January 17, 1977, the State of Utah shot to death Gary Gilmore, who "volunteered" to be killed in revenge for his murder of Ben Bushnell and Max Jenson.  This state-assisted suicide was the first execution under the Supreme Court’s upholding of the death penalty in 1976.

Since 1997, a total of 34 arrests have been made of death penalty abolitionists for unfurling banners that read "STOP EXECUTIONS!" on the stairs leading to the front doors of the U.S. Supreme Court.  January 17th, 2017 will be the next installment of the every-five-year action. 

To date there have been 1278 executions in the U.S. since 1977, with others consecutively scheduled on January 18, 19 and 20 in Ohio, Kentucky and Delaware, respectively.  Texas has seven executions scheduled this winter.

Despite the continued use of the death penalty, the tide is turning.  “A year ago we saw Illinois repeal their death penalty. The year before that it was New Mexico. Before that, New Jersey and New York.  We are seeing a dramatic decrease in both death sentences and executions nationwide, and we are winning.  Now is the time to end this practice once and for all,” said Scott Langley, Abolitionist Action Committee organizer for the January 17th action.

The Abolitionist Action Committee is an ad-hoc group of individuals committed to highly visible and effective public education for alternatives to the death penalty through nonviolent direct action.

#     #     #

Monday, January 16, 2012

Coretta Scott King on the Death Penalty

Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., died in 2006 at the age of 78. She is remembered for many brave and selfless acts, including her steady opposition to capital punishment. The widow of one of the nation's most famous murder victims frequently voiced her opposition to the death penalty with a very powerful argument.

"As one whose husband and mother-in-law have died the victims of murder and assassination, I stand firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for those convicted of capital offenses," she said. "An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed of retaliation. Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life. Morality is never upheld by a legalized murder".

Monday, January 02, 2012


The most significant death-penalty stories of 2011 have been named by Execution Watch, a news program on Pacifica Radio Network’s KPFT FM 90.1 that broadcasts and streams live whenever Texas puts a prisoner to death:

1.      Troy Davis is executed in Georgia despite lingering doubts about his guilt. The rush to execution was not as unusual as the broad international awareness of, and support for, Davis.

2.      Mumia Abu-Jamal makes the metaphorically giant leap from Pennsylvania’s death row into general prison population after the Philadelphia district attorney announces it will stop its 30-year effort to obtain a durable death penalty against him.

3.      Texas executes Mexican national Humberto Leal, flouting international law by refusing to give him a new hearing despite the failure by police to tell him at arrest that he may contact the Mexican Consulate for legal help.

4.      Illinois abolishes the death penalty, reducing the number of states with capital punishment to 34. In a related story, Oregon’s governor says no executions will take place during his term but neither commutes any death sentences nor stops prison officials from selling excess execution drugs to other states.

5.      The European Union escalates its activism against American use of the death penalty by banning the export to the United States of barbiturates that could be used to in lethal-injection executions.

6.      The number of new death sentences in the United States reaches an historic low of 78, the first time in more than three decades that fewer than 100 people were condemned to death.

7.      Anthony Graves, exonerated from death row for a murder he did not commit, successfully sues the State of Texas for compensation owed to him by law, accepting from the comptroller a check for $1.45 million.

8.      The Texas death penalty is declared unconstitutional by State District Judge Teresa Hawthorne of Dallas, echoing Harris County District Judge Kevin Fine’s earlier ruling, made moot by a plea deal.

9.      The death penalty becomes part of the GOP primary race when Rick Perry elicits applause from a debate audience for presiding over more executions than any governor in history and disbelief from the media for declaring he has never lost sleep over an execution.

10.  Director Werner Herzog successfully releases INTO THE ABYSS, a gritty documentary describing from several points of view a triple murder in Texas and its aftermath. Another documentary involving capital punishment, INCENDIARY, premieres and wins an award at Austin’s South by SouthWest Film Festival.

Other stories in 2011 that Execution Watch designated as especially noteworthy include:

-- A district judge in Georgetown takes under advisement a request for a special inquiry into alleged wrongdoing by the top prosecutor in a murder trial that put an innocent man behind bars for 25 years. Michael Morton presented evidence that ex-district attorney Ken Anderson knowingly withheld evidence that might have led to his acquittal.

-- The U.S. Supreme Court vacates a $14 million jury verdict against former New Orleans District Attorney Harry Connick Sr. for withholding evidence that might have averted the wrongful conviction and near-execution of John Thompson. A divided court said a prosecutor’s office cannot be held liable for a member’s illegal withholding of exculpatory evidence due to inadequate training.
-- The Texas Forensic Science Commission releases its final report on the Todd Willingham case, directing the Innocence Project of Texas to work with the state fire marshall to review more than 700 arson cases for possible wrongful convictions based on outdated science.
-- Literary critics respond enthusiastically to the publication of AUTHOBIOGRAPHY OF AN EXECUTION, a highly personal and humanistic memoir by David Dow, litigation director of Texas Defender Service.

-- A Louisiana-based coalition of civic and religious groups called I Want to Serve launches a campaign to outlaw the exclusion from capital juries of people who oppose the death penalty.