Sunday, October 27, 2013

Monday: Kevin Cooper Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Dear Friends and Fellow Abolitionists,

This is a reminder that you won't want to miss Kevin Cooper's hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. This is an historic opportunity to present the issues of racism and injustices in Kevin's case. For more background on the hearing, including powerful exhibits submitted to the IACHR, visit

You can watch the hearing live! You will see the powerful testimony by Kevin's attorneys, and hear recorded testimony by Kevin as well! The hearing is Monday, October 28, 11:30 a.m. EST (NOTE: This is 8:30 am PST!) There will be a live link to the Ruben Dario Room available on the Organization of American States website.  This is the address that the live link for that room currently goes to: You can also access the link here:

Also, please send a letter of support to the IACHR! The commission is not expected to issue their decision on Monday, so letters before or after the hearing are good. You can send a letter here:

In solidarity,


Kevin Cooper Defense Committee

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty's 13th Annual Convention

Beyond the Walls: Fighting for Justice from the Inside Out!
November 1-3 in Austin, Texas

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is excited to announce our 13th Annual Convention "Beyond the walls: Fighting for justice from the inside out". Download the full event program here.
This year's convention will once again coincide with the 14th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty – an event that will be at the heart of the weekend on Saturday November 2, at 2PM at the Texas State Capitol. We'll also be co-sponsoring a book launch event for I Am Troy Davis, new from Haymarket Books - we are honored to have De'Jaun Davis-Correia speaking about his uncle Troy who was innocent and executed in Georgia on September 21, 2011.
Former prisoners, family members, and veterans of many of the CEDP's battles will be represented at this year's convention as we highlight voices of those most affected by the death penalty and strategize next steps for fighting injustice in the prison system.

We are so thrilled to welcome Timothy McKinney to this year's convention! Tim was recently released from prison after being wrongfully incarcerated for 15 years. We are so happy that he is finally free and are looking forward to hearing from him over the weekend. And we will be joined also for the first time by 
Airicka-Gordon Taylor who will be speaking about the racist murder of her cousin Emmett Till during the Civil Rights era.
Featured Speakers will include:   
Lawrence Hayes – Former New York death row prisoner 
Mark Clements – Former Illinois juvenile life without parole prisoner and police torture victim  
Shujaa Graham- Former death row prisoner in Illinois
*Several other former prisoners from Witness to Innocence 
 De'Jaun Davis-Correia – Nephew of innocent and executed Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis. De'Juan fought alongside his mother Martina Correia and the Davis family to save the life of Troy.
Sandra Reed - mother of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed 
Jack Bryson – Whose son was on the platform with Oscar Grant when Oscar was shot and killed by Oakland transit police 
Barbara Lewis – Mother of Delaware death row prisoner Robert Gattis  
Delia Perez Meyer - Sister of Texas death row prisoner Louis Castro Perez
Lawrence Foster, Sr. – Grandfather of former Texas death row prisoner Kenneth Foster, Jr. whose sentence was commuted to life in 2007 
Airicka Gordon-Taylor – Cousin of Emmett Till and the Executive Director of the Mamie Till Mobley Memorial Foundation, activist against police brutality and the new Jim Crow
The Kids Against the Death Penalty - young family members of Texas death row prisoner Jeff Woods, convicted under the unjust Law of Parties


Liliana Segura - Journalist and editor at The Nation Magazine and CEDP Board member and activist

Lily Hughes - National Director of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Among the meetings:
I Am Troy Davis! Book launch and panel event! * Voices From the Struggle * Eyes on the Prize: New challenges for abolitionists
Every year we make a special fundraising appeal to help raise money to send family members, exonerated and former prisoners to our annual national convention-folks who would otherwise not be able to afford to come. And every year, so many of you are so very generous in helping make this a real possibility.
Please help if you are able--your donations really do make a world of difference. Even if you're not able to donate much, it really does add up and we appreciate every dollar we receive! 
You can donate online here:

Those preferring to mail a check can make it out to CEDP and mail it to: CEDP, P.O. Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60625.
Here is an excerpt from the Costella Cannon letter this year, written by Timothy McKinney:

"The CEDP did so much for me while I was on death row. They heard the call when I was in need. They published an article about my case and, when I wrote a thank you note, they published that too. All the while they were struggling and fighting for others. And even when people lost their lives, they stayed in there and continued to go strong.
Since I walked out of Shelby County Jail in May after almost 16 years, I have had these 'Wow' moments. I had one the other day, talking to friends on the phone. I can talk to them without getting cut off every 15 minutes. I can sit at my family’s home and watch TV. And I can travel to Austin, Texas for the annual convention of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty.
It’s been a dream. I used to read the stories about guys coming home, then going to speak at the convention. Now, I feel I’m a member of the Campaign, as well. I’ve become a part of the struggle. I have to keep speaking about my experience, and my life. I can pull more people in.
That is why I'm asking for your help to bring myself and other family members and former prisoners to the CEDP’s annual convention in November. Every year, the Costella Cannon Fund helps former prisoners, family members, and activists come together to share our stories and strategize about the next steps in our struggle."
Registration for the weekend is $10 for family members and former prisoners and $15 for everyone else. The registration includes Saturday dinner - a special event at convention this year. Register online here or you can send a check made out to CEDP and mail to: CEDP, P.O. Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60625.
Hotel rooms available by calling the Ramada Inn: 512.454.1144 (mention the CEDP for a discounted rate). 

Monday, October 07, 2013

Execution Watch: Michael Yowell, October 9

A manacled Michael Yowell is escorted to court

By Execution Watch
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - A man with a history of mental illness is slated to be executed Wednesday over the objections of his appellate lawyers, who say he wouldn't have been convicted and sentenced to death if his trial attorneys had represented him properly.

Michael Yowell was condemned in the deaths of his parents and grandmother in Lubbock, Texas, in May 1998.

If the state follows through with its intention to execute Yowell, Execution Watch will broadcast live radio coverage and analysis, including a recently recorded interview with him, at 6 p.m. Central Time, streaming at > Listen.

Unless a stay is issued, we'll broadcast live:
Wednesday, 9 October 2013, 6-7 PM Central Time
KPFT FM Houston 90.1 HD3 channel, and Online...
Updates and discussion on Facebook: Execution Watch

MICHAEL YOWELL, convicted in a 1998 triple murder in Lubbock, in which Yowell's father, mother and grandmother died of injuries sustained before or during a fire at their home. Yowell's execution date has been delayed in the past, based on the contention that his trial lawyers did not provide effective representation. At the time of the slayings, Yowell had a history of mental illness.

Host: RAY HILL, an ex-convict and activist who founded -- and hosted for 30 years -- The Prison Show on KPFT. His internet radio show airs each Wednesday at 2 PM CT.:

Legal Analyst: JIM SKELTON, a legal educator, retired attorney and native Texan who has seen capital trials from both the prosecution and defense tables. Joining him will be Houston criminal defense attorneys SUSAN ASHLEY, LARRY DOUGLAS, MICHAEL GILLESPIE & JACK LEE.

Featured Interview: MICHAEL YOWELL, who accepted Execution Watch’s invitation to be interviewed, with the understanding that the audio recording would air unedited, in its entirety, and only in the event of his execution. The interview took place Aug. 28 on death row.

Reporter, Outside the Death House, Huntsville: GLORIA RUBAC, member, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement,

Reporter, Vigil, Houston: DAVE ATWOOD, founder and former board member, Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty,

On Oct. 16, Texas plans to kill LARRY HATTEN. If it does, Execution Watch will air coverage.

PRODUCER: Elizabeth, eliza.tx.usa
THEME:  By Victoria Panetti, SheMonster International,

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Text of Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy Letter to TDCJ Demanding Return of Execution Drugs

The owner of the Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy, the pharmacy that provided TDCJ's supply of Pentobarbital to be used in executions, has sent a letter to TDCJ demanding that TDCJ return the drugs. During the sale he was promised that his name would be kept "down low" and it would be unlikely that someone would discover the name of his pharmacy.

The Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy Letter to TDCJ Regarding Their Purchase of Pentobarbital by Hooman