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Death Row - What you need to know! General and State Specific questions/answers about Death Row - mail & more - whatever you need to know can probably be found here!

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Old 10-03-2004, 11:59 AM
softheart softheart is offline
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Default TEXAS COALITION TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY INITIATES LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN.

Please everyone lets get out and do this, we all can make a difference. If you can't afford the postage, but want to write a letter just pm me. You can write your letters and email them to me and I will be more then happy to snail mail them out for you.

softie


TEXAS COALITION TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY INITIATES
LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN ON WORLD DAY AGAINST THE DEATH
PENALTY, OCTOBER 10, 2004


The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP), in conjunction
with like-minded human rights organizations, is initiating a worldwide
letter-writing campaign focused on Texas officials. The primary focuses
of this campaign will be Texas Governor Rick Perry and Harris County
District Attorney Charles Rosenthal. Other Texas officials will be copied
on the messages.

Governor Perry is the primary focus because, as of October 1, 2004, Texas
has had 326 executions since the death penalty was resumed in the state in
1982. Over one third of all executions in the U.S. come from Texas. 87
(over 26 %) of the executions have occurred while Perry has been Governor.

Charles Rosenthal is targeted because approximately 22% of all
executions in Texas come from one jurisdiction, Harris County. There are
254 counties in Texas.

The idea of a worldwide letter-writing campaign directed at Texas
officials came up after Robert Acuna, a juvenile offender, received the
death penalty in Harris County, Texas, and James Allridge, a rehabilitated
man from Ft. Worth, was executed on August 26, 2004. We believe that a
long-term letter-writing campaign that involves thousands of people from
all over the world could have a positive effect on Texas. For example, if
the Harris County District Attorney got 100 letters a day for 365 days,
that would mean he would have received 36,500 letters during a year's
time. He would surely notice.

We will need MANY, MANY individuals to participate in
this campaign. People should be prepared to write at least two letters a
month for a long period of time. Nothing less will have an impact. We do
not expect immediate results. Officials in Texas will not welcome these
letters, especially if they come from other U.S. states or from other
nations. However, with time, we think this campaign can have a positive
impact. Here are some statistics on Texas and Harris County where the
city of Houston is located.

TEXAS STATISTICS

326 executions through October 1, 2004, since the death penalty was
resumed in 1982. This is over 1/3 of the total number of executions in
the U.S.

10 more executions currently scheduled during September - December of 2004.

There are approximately 460 people on death row. Approximately 40% of the
people on death row are African-American vs. 12% in the general population.

There are currently no exclusions from the death penalty for juvenile
offenders, seriously mentally ill people, foreign nationals whose rights
under the Vienna Convention were violated, or rehabilitated people.

The alternative to the death penalty in Texas for someone found guilty of
capital murder is a "life sentence". A life sentence in Texas means that
someone has to serve 40 calendar years before parole can even be
considered. Texas currently does not have a "life without parole" option
for juries.

Studies by Texas Defender Service have demonstrated that the Texas death
penalty system is seriously flawed. Economic, racial and geographic
biases exist. Prosecutorial misconduct occurs. The death penalty process
is highly political as judges and district attorneys are elected
officials. Members of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest
criminal court in the state, are elected officials who support the death
penalty.

The Texas Legislature is currently dominated by Republicans who support
the death penalty. The Governor is Republican and supports the death
penalty.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (six members) is appointed by the
Governor. The Board is not required to have a public hearing to consider
clemency appeals - they vote by fax. The Board does not have a written
criteria for granting clemency. Clemency is never given to a person who
demonstrates that he/she is fully rehabilitated (eg. Karla Faye Tucker,
James Allridge). Recommendations from the Board go to the Governor who
can agree or disagree with the recommendation.

Most Texas counties don't have an effective public defender system (a
system of well-trained attorneys with adequate financial resources) for
poor defendants. Poor defendants are assigned attorneys who may or may not
do a good job depending on their training, motivation and financial
resources. Most people on death row are poor.

A person with financial means can hire a top law firm to defend him and
will rarely ever end up on death row, even if guilty. On the other hand,
a poor person, even if innocent, can end up on death row because of a poor
legal defense. Texas has sentenced a number of innocent people to death.
Some were released when their innocence became apparent. However, a number
of people with strong claims of innocence have been executed.

A study published in 1992 indicated that the average cost of a death
penalty case in Texas was 2.3 million dollars vs. $750,000 for life in
prison.


HARRIS COUNTY STATISTICS

73 executions have come from Harris County through October 1, 2004, since
the death penalty was resumed in Texas in 1982. This is approximately 22%
of the total number of executions in Texas. Harris County has more
executions than any state in the U.S. other than Texas, Virginia and
Oklahoma.

Seven more people from Harris County are scheduled for execution during
September - December of 2004 (this is 70% of the scheduled executions).

There are currently 164 people on death row from Harris County. This is
approximately 36% of the total number of people on death row in Texas.
Texas has 254 counties.

Approximately 54% of those people on death row from Harris County are
African-American vs. 18% in the population of Harris County.

In Harris County, the poor are represented by court-appointed attorneys
who may or may not do a good job. Most criminal court judges are former
district attorneys who support the death penalty.

The Harris County District Attorney has tremendous power to decide when to
seek the death penalty for a capital murder case. For example, he sought
the death penalty a few years ago for mentally-ill Andrea Yates and,
recently, for a juvenile offender, Robert Acuna.

Houston is the largest city in Harris County. Most of the people sent to
death row by Harris County are Houston residents.


MODEL LETTERS

Despite some hard feelings we may have about Texas and Harris County,
letters should be written in a positive fashion. We do not believe it
will be useful to demonize Texas or Harris County officials. Here are
some model letters. However, we recommend that you write your own
letters.



Mr. Charles A. Rosenthal, Jr.
Harris County District Attorney

Dear Mr. Rosenthal,

I am writing to you because of my concern with the high number of death
penalty cases coming out of Harris County, Texas. Approximately 36% of
the people on death row in Texas are from Harris County. This is a
disproportionate number even if Houston is the largest city in the state,
suggesting that other factors are at work.

Approximately 54% of the people sent to death row from your county are
African-American. This figure is also disproportionate as
approximately18% of Harris County residents are African-American. These
figures suggest that racial factors are at work in who and who doesn't get
the death penalty in Harris County.

I was shocked when you sought the death penalty for Andrea Yates, the
mother who killed her children. She was obviously a seriously mentally
ill person. Although Yates received a life sentence rather than the death
penalty, the fact that you sought the death penalty for her was
unconscionable.

I was also shocked when you sought and obtained the death penalty for
Robert Acuna, a juvenile offender. You did this despite the fact that the
U.S. Supreme Court will be reviewing the death penalty for juvenile
offenders in the fall of 2004. .

I am sure that you know that many family members of murder victims do not
want the death penalty. I hope you will listen to the voices of these
folks as you make decisions.

Society can be protected by long-term incarceration of dangerous
criminals. Since the death penalty is unnecessary and more expensive to
implement than life in prison, you would be doing the citizens of Harris
County a favor by seeking life sentences rather than the death penalty in
capital murder cases.

Mr. Rosenthal, you may believe that you are just doing your job by
supporting the death penalty. However, I believe that the death penalty
is a horrific human rights abuse. This is increasingly the opinion of
people around the world. I encourage you to rethink your position on the
death penalty.

Sincerely,


cc. Harris County Judge Robert E. Eckels
Harris County Commissioners
Houston Mayor Bill White
Houston City Council Members



Governor Rick Perry
Austin, Texas

Dear Governor Perry,

I am writing to you because of my concern with the high number of
executions in Texas. As of October 1, 2004, 326 executions have occurred
in Texas since 1982. This represents over 1/3 of all executions in the
U.S. This is an incredible figure.

Approximately 42% of the people on death row are African-American versus
12% in the general population. This suggest that racial factors play a
role in the application of the death penalty in Texas.

I was shocked when I learned that you had vetoed a bill to exclude people
who are mentally retarded from the death penalty. I was shocked again
when you failed to grant clemency to mentally-ill Kelsey Patterson after
your Parole Board had voted 5-1 for clemency.

Studies have shown that there are numerous problems with the Texas death
penalty system including economic, racial and geographic biases. Innocent
people have been sentenced to death and innocent people have undoubtedly
been executed.

I am sure that you know that there are many families of murder victims who
do not want the death penalty. I hope you will listen to these folks as
you make your decisions.

Society can be protected by long-term incarceration of dangerous
criminals. Since the death penalty is unnecessary for societal protection
and is more expensive to implement than life in prison, you would be doing
the citizens of Texas a service by not supporting the death penalty.

Governor Perry, you may believe that you are just doing your job by
supporting the death penalty. However, I consider the death penalty to be
a horrific human rights abuse. This is increasingly the opinion of people
around the world. I encourage you to rethink your position on the death
penalty.

Sincerely,


cc. Speaker of the House Tom Craddick
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst
Senator John Whitmire
Senator Leticia R. Van de Putte
Representative Garnet F. Coleman
Representative Pete Gallego
Representative Terry Keel


STATE ADDRESSES

Governor Rick Perry
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
USA

Representative Tom Craddick
Speaker of the House of Representatives
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768-2910
USA

Representative Terry Keel
Chair, House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768-2910
USA

Representative Pete Gallego
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768-2910
USA

Representative Garnet F. Coleman
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768-2910
USA

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711-2068
USA

Senator John Whitmire
Chair, Criminal Justice Committee
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711-2068
USA

Senator Leticia R. Van de Putte
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, Texas 78711-2068
USA

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn
P.O. Box 13528 Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711-3528
USA


COUNTY/CITY ADDRESSES

Mr. Charles A. Rosenthal, Jr.
Harris County District Attorney
1201 Fannin, 6th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
USA

Judge Robert E. Eckels
1001 Preston, Suite 911
Houston, Texas 77002
USA

Mr. El Franco Lee
County Commissioner, Precinct 1
1001 Preston, 9th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
USA

Ms. Sylvia Garcia
County Commissioner, Precinct 2
1001 Preston, Suite 950
Houston, Texas 77002
USA

Mr. Steve Radack
County Commissioner, Precinct 3
1001 Preston, 9th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
USA

Mr. Jerry Eversole
County Commissioner, Precinct 4
1001 Preston, Room 924
Houston, Texas 77002
USA

Mayor Bill White
City of Houston
901 Bagby Street
Houston, Texas 77002
USA

If you would like to have your letters go to the individual members of the
Houston City Council, their address is: 900 Bagby St., Houston, Texas
77002 USA. The members of the Houston City Council are: Mr. Tom Lawrence,
Ms. Carol Mims Galloway, Mr. Mark Goldberg, Ms. Ada Edwards, Ms. Addie
Wiseman, Mr. M.J. Khan, Ms. Pam Holm, Mr. Adrian Garcia, Ms. Carol
Alvorado, Mr. Mark Ellis, Mr. Gordon Quan, Ms. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Mr.
Ron Green, Mr. Michael Berry.
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Old 10-04-2004, 04:10 AM
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Kyla Kyla is offline
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Sharing part of a letter

Tomorrow is the 21st, Andrew Florez has a serious execution date. I know this, I know him, well by the time you get this letter, it will be knew him.
The building at the walls unit is old and sterile, they try and make it look like a medical procedure. Its cold and heartless and cowardly, the executioner is behind mirrored glass, all you see if anythings beside the person, is the clear tubes that flow with poison, to his arms, you can actually see it coming and know its about to kill him. when that stuff hits your lungs it makes a gasping sound cause it totally collapses your lungs.

I will be sending letters out most definatly. If we make a stand together, perhaps we can stop the madness as read above!! If anyone needs a hand with a letter, and dont want to write whats above, just ask Also, perhaps letters written to Mr. Charles A. Rosenthal of Harris county, we could also add about the crime lab there, and how evidence such as DNA have been tainted.
Here is a link with a little information about the crime lab in Harris county.
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81267
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Last edited by Kyla; 10-04-2004 at 04:18 AM..
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:36 AM
itscindergirl itscindergirl is offline
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I will certainly write letters since we have had so many released in the recent months that were innocent I feel they need to really take a good look at most of the death row cases and that all that have been released are african american it is pretty evident that there is a racial thing going on not only in texas but everywhere. How many have they already killed that were innocent in the name of justice god help them cause they will pay for the wrongs they have done but that doesnt help the innocent that have been put to death to further someones career.
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