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  #1  
Old 02-14-2003, 12:59 PM
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Default National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Delma Banks, Jr. (TX)
March 12, 2003
6:00 PM CST, 7:00 PM EST

The state of Texas is scheduled to execute Delma Banks, Jr., a black man,
March 12 for the 1980 murder of 16-year-old Richard Whitehead of
Texarkana. Banks' case - clearly tainted with racial discrimination and
prosecutorial misconduct - represents the tragic pattern of injustice so
prevalent in the death penalty system. The trial featured a black man with
ineffective defense lawyers, a prosecutor withholding exculpatory
evidence, and by no coincidence, an all-white jury.

The systemic discrimination in Banks' case is only the tip of the iceberg;
as time has passed since his trial and conviction, more evidence has
emerged concerning the legitimacy of his innocence claim. The two key
witnesses who testified against him have both recanted their testimony,
and scientific evidence now suggests that Banks was in Dallas - 180 miles
away - at the time of the murder. No eyewitness accounts tie him to the
crime, nor does any logical motive; furthermore, he had no prior criminal
record.

Banks has appealed his conviction and death sentence based on three of the
most historic U.S. Supreme Court decisions in history: Strickland v.
Washington (1984), Batson v. Kentucky (1986), and Brady v. Maryland
(1963).

With Strickland - which currently defines the standards for
ineffective assistance of counsel claims - he succeeded for a short time
when a U.S. District Judge threw out his death sentence after calling the
performance of his trial counsel "dismal." The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of
Appeals reinstated the sentence shortly thereafter, somehow determining
that the outcome of the trial would have been the same regardless of the
effectiveness of Banks' defense counsel.

On Feb. 12, three judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals filed a
scathing dissent in the case of Leonard Rojas, claiming that the majority
made a serious error by refusing to consider his ineffective assistance
appeal. Sadly, the issue no longer has practical applicability in Rojas'
case, because the state executed him on Dec. 4, 2002. The judges and
executive authorities would be wise to avoid a similar situation in Banks'
case by stopping his scheduled execution.

As for Batson, this case sadly represents the norm of Texarkana
murder trials in the early 1980's. Banks, a black man, stood trial before
an all-white jury - a scenario clearly intended by the state; in fact, the
prosecution struck every single prospective black juror from the selection
pool. In the famous Batson decision (1986), the U.S. Supreme Court banned
strikes based on non-race neutral grounds, which should certainly apply to
Banks' case. The high court may even redefine the guidelines for proving
these claims in the case of Thomas Miller-El, another Texas death row
inmate, which the court heard in October.

Banks' Brady claim argues that the prosecution did not reveal
potentially exculpatory evidence, which could have supported his innocence
argument. At trial, the prosecution withheld crucial evidence from the
defense that would have demonstrated the fact that neither key witness was
credible or believable. In one of the most egregious rulings in the past
quarter century, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blamed Banks for
not uncovering the prosecution's suppression and withholding of evidence
earlier.

This case combines all of the classic systemic problems of the death
penalty - possible innocence, racial discrimination, ineffective counsel,
and prosecutorial misconduct. The power of executive clemency marks the
last safeguard against the overt discrimination and injustice that has
plagued Banks' case for the last 23 years. Gov. Rick Perry and the Board
of Pardons and Paroles should recognize the obvious problems with this
death sentence and commute it to life in prison. Please write the state of
Texas and protest Delma Banks' pending execution.

Please contact

Governor Rick Perry
Governor Rick Perry
Office of the Governor
PO Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711-2418
Phone: (512) 463 2000
Fax: (512) 463 1849
Email:
www.governor.state.tx.us/contact%20%
20information/email/email_the_governor.h
tm
www.governor.state.tx.us

Board of Pardons and Paroles
Attn: Gerald Garret
Executive Clemency Section
PO Box 13401, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: (512) 406 5852
Fax: (512) 467 0945
www.tdcj.state.tx.us/bpp/index.html

Write Op-Ed

The Austin American-Statesman
P.O. Box 670
Austin, TX 78767
Phone: (512) 445-3667
Fax: (512) 445-3679
Email: letters@statesman.com
www.austin360.com/statesman/
editions/today

Dallas Morning News
2726 S. Beckley
Dallas, TX 75224
Phone: (214) 977-8494
Fax: (972) 263-0456
Email: www.dmnweb.dallasnews.com/letters
www.dallasnews.com

Houston Chronicle
P.O. Box 4260
Houston, TX 77210
Phone: (713) 220-7491
Fax: (713) 220-6806
Email: hci@chron.com
www.houstonchronicle.com

For More Information

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
3400 Montrose Blvd.
Suite 312
Houston, TX 77006
Contact: David Atwood
Phone: 713-520-0030 (day)
Phone: 713-529-3826 (eve)
Fax: 713-942-8146
dpatwood@igc.apc.org <mailto:dpatwood@igc.apc.org>
www.tcadp.org

Amnesty International State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator
SMU PO Box 750172
Dallas, TX 75275
Contact: Rick Halperin
Phone: (214) 768-3284
Fax: (214) 768-3475
Email: rhalperi@mail.smu.edu


National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2003, 01:14 PM
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I WILL GET AN EMAIL OUT !!!!!
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Old 02-14-2003, 01:24 PM
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thank you.,
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Old 02-14-2003, 02:27 PM
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I definatley will send somthing out asap!
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Old 02-14-2003, 02:53 PM
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Thank you
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Old 02-14-2003, 06:30 PM
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LULU.......THIS IS JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW CORRUPT THIS CITY IS THAT I LIVE IN!!!!!!!!! :fb: :fb:
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Old 02-14-2003, 06:43 PM
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Well hun, I live in it as well. Kind of sad I tell ya.
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Old 02-16-2003, 01:06 AM
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black & in texas that was already 2 strikes against him. i will send something out and pray for him.
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2003, 11:22 AM
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Thank you.
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Old 02-19-2003, 08:46 AM
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Default Delma Banks, Jr.

DELMA BANKS, Jr.
Scheduled Execution Date: March 12, 2003
6:00 PM CST, 7:00 PM EST
Texas

NCADP - Execution Alert


The state of Texas is scheduled to execute Delma Banks, Jr.,
a black man, March 12 for the 1980 murder of 16-year-old Richard Whitehead
of Texarkana. Banks' case clearly tainted with racial discrimination and
prosecutorial misconduct represents the tragic pattern of injustice so
prevalent in the death penalty system. The trial featured a black man with
ineffective defense lawyers, a prosecutor withholding exculpatory evidence,
and by no coincidence, an all-white jury.

The systemic discrimination in Banks' case is only the tip of the
iceberg; as time has passed since his trial and conviction, more
evidence has emerged concerning the legitimacy of his innocence claim. The
two key witnesses who testified against
him have both recanted their testimony, and scientific evidence now suggests
that Banks was in Dallas 180 miles away at the time of the murder. No
eyewitness accounts tie him to the crime, nor does any logical motive;
furthermore, he had no prior criminal record.


Banks has appealed his conviction and death sentence based on three of the
most historic U.S. Supreme Court decisions in history:
Strickland v. Washington (1984), Batson v. Kentucky (1986), and Brady v.
Maryland (1963).

With Strickland which currently defines the standards for
ineffective assistance of counsel claims he succeeded for a
short time when a U.S. District Judge threw out his death sentence after
calling the performance of his trial counsel "dismal." The U.S. Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the sentence shortly thereafter, somehow
determining that the outcome of the trial would have been the same
regardless of
the effectiveness of Banks' defense counsel.

On Feb. 12, three judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals filed a
scathing dissent in the case of Leonard Rojas, claiming that the majority
made a serious error by refusing to consider his ineffective assistance
appeal. Sadly, the issue no longer has practical applicability in Rojas'
case, because the state executed him on Dec. 4, 2002. The judges and
executive authorities would be wise to avoid a similar situation in Banks'
case by stopping his scheduled execution.

As for Batson, this case sadly represents the norm of Texarkana
murder trials in the early 1980's. Banks, a black man, stood trial
before an all-white jury a scenario clearly intended by the state;
in fact, the prosecution struck every single prospective black juror
from the selection pool. In the famous Batson decision (1986), the
U.S. Supreme Court banned strikes based on non-race neutral grounds, which
should certainly apply to Banks' case. The high court may even redefine the
guidelines for proving these claims in the case of Thomas Miller-El, another
Texas death row inmate, which the court heard in October.

Banks' Brady claim argues that the prosecution did not reveal
potentially exculpatory evidence, which could have supported
his innocence argument. At trial, the prosecution withheld crucial
evidence from the defense that would have demonstrated the fact that neither
key witness was credible or believable. In one of the most egregious rulings
in the past quarter century, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blamed
Banks for not uncovering the prosecution's suppression and withholding of
evidence earlier.

This case combines all of the classic systemic problems of the death penalty
possible innocence, racial discrimination, ineffective counsel, and
prosecutorial misconduct. The power
of executive clemency marks the last safeguard against the overt
discrimination and injustice that has plagued Banks' case for the last 23
years. Gov. Rick Perry and the Board of Pardons and Paroles should recognize
the obvious problems with this death sentence and commute it to life in
prison.

Please write the state of Texas
and protest Delma Banks' pending execution.

Please contact:

Governor Rick Perry
Office of the Governor
PO Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711-2418
Phone: (512) 463 2000
Fax: (512) 463 1849
Email:
http://www.governor.state.tx.us/cont...e_governor.htm
www.governor.state.tx.us

Board of Pardons and Paroles
Attn: Gerald Garret
Executive Clemency Section
PO Box 13401, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: (512) 406 5852
Fax: (512) 467 0945
www.tdcj.state.tx.us/bpp/index.html

Write Op-Ed:

The Austin American-Statesman
P.O. Box 670
Austin, TX 78767
Phone: (512) 445-3667
Fax: (512) 445-3679
Email: letters@statesman.com
www.austin360.com/statesman/editions/today

Dallas Morning News
2726 S. Beckley
Dallas, TX 75224
Phone: (214) 977-8494
Fax: (972) 263-0456
Email: www.dmnweb.dallasnews.com/letters
www.dallasnews.com

Houston Chronicle
P.O. Box 4260
Houston, TX 77210
Phone: (713) 220-7491
Fax: (713) 220-6806
Email: hci@chron.com
www.houstonchronicle.com

For More Information:

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
3400 Montrose Blvd.
Suite 312
Houston, TX 77006
Contact: David Atwood
Phone: 713-520-0030 (day)
Phone: 713-529-3826 (eve)
Fax: 713-942-8146
dpatwood@igc.apc.org <mailto:dpatwood@igc.apc.org>
www.tcadp.org

Amnesty International State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator
SMU PO Box 750172
Dallas, TX 75275
Contact: Rick Halperin
Phone: (214) 768-3284
Fax: (214) 768-3475
Email: rhalperi@mail.smu.edu
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2003, 06:19 AM
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WILL EMAIL LATER TODAY.HE IS IN MY PRAYERS
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:18 AM
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I LIVE IN THIS CORRUPT TOWN!!!!!!!!! :fb: :fb:
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Old 02-20-2003, 09:08 AM
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Tx never stops, so they.
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2003, 07:43 AM
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Everyone.........this just breaks my heart to know that in 4 more days........Texas will murder another human-being.....Delma is from where I live........I would just like to say.....I will be thinking about him
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Old 03-08-2003, 09:31 AM
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I will keep him in my thoughts.
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Old 03-08-2003, 01:11 PM
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This is so sad. He's in my prayers.
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Old 03-09-2003, 10:50 AM
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Since Joy posted this I've been reading a bit about this case, and I'm starting to get worried. Course that's just my opinion, but I think if this guy goes down, the already low bar will be dropped even lower. Just a sampling of one of the things I've come across about the case...

DEATHLY DOUBTS -- Banks case shows flaws in capital punishment process
Source: Ed, Houston Chronicle

Texas is on the verge of executing the 300th inmate put to death since capital punishment resumed in 1982. In a system marred by clear inequities and troubling doubts, it is morbidly ironic that the case of the candidate for that March 12 execution date embodies a number of those doubts and raises questions about whether Texas is about to lethally inject someone who was wrongfully convicted.

But the time for caution and certainty is now, not on March 13. Even the most ardent, law-and-order death penalty proponent must surely agree with that. In the case of 44-year-old Delma Banks Jr., that certitude is just not there.

So serious are the questions involved that former FBI director and federal Judge William Sessions, joined by 2 other former federal judges and a former federal prosecutor, has filed court arguments calling Banks' pending execution a potential miscarriage of justice and asking that it be stopped.

Banks has been on death row since 1980 for fatally shooting Wayne Whitehead, a 16-year-old Texarkana-area youth, and stealing his car. Banks' attorneys contend Bowie County prosecutors knowingly allowed key witnesses to perjure themselves, withheld evidence from the defense and jury that would have thoroughly discredited the key witnesses and then argued to the jury that it should believe the witnesses, even though the prosecutors knew they were lying.

The prosecution's 2 key witnesses, said George Kendall of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, were flawed and prosecutors let them lie on the witness stand. One of the witnesses, Charles Cook, testified Banks told him he had killed someone and then left him a murder weapon and the victim's car.

Cook later recanted during a 1999 federal hearing, saying as a twice- convicted felon he was threatened with going to prison if he did not testify against Banks.

Defense lawyers say another witness, Robert Farr, told them after the trial he was a paid police informant. Farr died 2 years ago. Prosecutors are accused of withholding during the trial a 74-page pretrial witness statement with inconsistent testimony. Also, there are serious questions about the conviction of Banks, an African-American, by an all-white jury when blacks reportedly were routinely struck from jury panels in Bowie County.

There's also strong scientific evidence that Banks was 180 miles away in another city when the murder occurred. Most egregious, defense lawyers say, is that the exculpatory evidence was hidden from them until after Banks' appeals process had run. Only through the efforts of volunteer lawyers was that evidence uncovered. Appeals raising several of these issues are before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Attorneys are asking Gov. Rick Perry to grant a 1-time, 30-day reprieve and have filed a request for reprieve with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. "I'm afraid it's going to be a white-knuckler," Kendall said.

But it shouldn't be and needn't be. The courts can decide the constitutional questions, but allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, racism and the lack of integrity of the appeals process affect us all.

At the very least, Texas needs to establish a commission or judicial review panel to study these cases and learn from the mistakes made in them. It wouldn't hurt to have a mechanism to hold prosecutors accountable for their misconduct when it occurs. The case is growing for a moratorium on all executions in the state until these questions can be resolved. Why wouldn't all Texans want to eradicate even the potential for injustice?
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Old 03-09-2003, 11:08 AM
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My fiance is also from this town, siting on DR in Texas. After reading his files and stuff, let's just say the the Bowie County Prosecutors havn't changed much in their tacticts.... I am watching this one very, very closely. This and the Miller-El case. If Delma does get executed then.............
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Old 03-09-2003, 11:40 AM
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If he will get executed than i am afraid that my friend also will be and also he is innocent on DR in Texas. I will keep Delma in my thoughts and i hope that he will get a stay.

Amanda
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Old 03-09-2003, 05:57 PM
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Joy and Toe........there are a lot of guys on death row from bowie county because as i have said many times this is a corrupt town.........THIS IS SO WRONG if they murder Delma!!!!!!!! :fb: :fb:
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Old 03-09-2003, 06:46 PM
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Old 03-09-2003, 07:44 PM
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I STILL KEEP HIM IN PRAYER. THIS IS JUST SO TERIBLE
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Old 03-11-2003, 06:40 PM
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Default Delma Banks

I pray the Supreme Court does something. Gov Perry sure won't.

sofite


March 11



TEXAS:

Despite high-profile support, inmate's appeals rejected --Rejected
appeals leave inmate with execution date a day away


2 chances for forestalling execution evaporated Monday for convicted
killer Delma Banks, leaving only the U.S. Supreme Court or Gov. Rick
Perry to decide whether his Wednesday trip to the death chamber will be
halted.

The state Court of Criminal Appeals and the state Board of Pardons and
Paroles each rejected Banks' pleas to stay his execution and give him an
opportunity to prove his claims that he was unjustly convicted because of
suppressed evidence and perjured testimony during his 1980 trial.

Noting that Banks has pursued 5 different appeals since his conviction,
Court of Criminal Appeals Justice Cathy Cochran wrote that his time is
up.

"At some point our criminal justice system must reach repose and a
finality of decision," Cochran wrote in a concurring opinion to the
court's 6-3 decision. "After 23 years of litigation, review and re-review
by this court and federal courts, (Banks) has had his fair share of due
process."

The Board of Pardons and Paroles turned down Banks' request for clemency
without considering its substance because the paperwork was filed one
week late, said board Chairman Gerald Garrett.

Banks was convicted of killing 16-year-old Richard Wayne Whitehead in
Nash, near Texarkana.

His lawyers say that Bowie County prosecutors hid evidence that could
have helped acquit their client, and that information unearthed since his
conviction shows that he might well be innocent.

Some evidence of prosecutorial misconduct was not discovered until almost
20 years after the trial, including a transcript of a police interview
with a key prosecution witness in which police appear to coach him on his
trial testimony, Banks' lawyers said.

No appeals court has considered that new evidence, said George Kendall,
Banks' attorney.

Jurors who convicted Banks also did not know that one key prosecution
witness was a paid police informant and that another testified in hopes
that he could escape his own criminal charges in an unrelated arson.

"We're very disappointed" with the Court of Criminal Appeals decision,
Kendall said. "The majority does not acknowledge the reasons why these
allegations could not have been presented sooner, and that's
distressing."

Kendall also said that, despite the late filing of the request, "the
Board of Pardons and Paroles can review Mr. Banks' petition for clemency
if it wishes to do so."

Along with former FBI Director William Sessions, a former U.S. district
judge who is a death penalty supporter, two other former federal judges
and a former federal prosecutor have joined the calls for stopping the
execution. In briefs filed with state and federal courts, the 4 argue
that executing Banks without examining his claims would "directly
implicate the integrity of the administration of the death penalty in
this country."

But James Elliott, one of the prosecutors who tried the case, said his
belief in Banks' guilt remains steadfast.

"They've been telling the same lie of bull and garbage for 23 years,"
Elliott said. "They're grasping at straws."

Larry Whitehead, the victim's father, said he has grown frustrated
waiting for Banks' execution.

"My wife said something at lunch to me, and I told her it's going to go
through this time," Whitehead said Monday. "I feel it."

Only an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court remains for Banks, and it is
not known when the court will rule.

Banks' attorneys have also asked Perry to grant a 30-day reprieve.
Spokeswoman Kathy Walt said Perry will not decide while the case is still
in court.

(source: Austin American-Statesman)
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Old 03-11-2003, 07:27 PM
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GOD BLESS YOU MR.BANKS
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