The 15th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty will be held in Houston on Saturday October 25, 2014 at 2 PM.

Now is the time to join the fight to end the death penalty! More and more people are concluding that the death penalty is a punishment that Texas can do without.

Texas has executed more than 500 people since 1982. Since Rick Perry became governor more than 250 people have been executed, including Todd Willingham, who was an innocent person executed by Texas in 2004.

Anthony Graves is an innocent person who was released in October 27, 2010 after 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, including 14 years on Texas death row.

12th Annual March to Abolish the Death PenaltyPerryWillinghamLogoI Am Innocentposter12x18willingham2010blackwhite11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty (12 x 18 Poster)Postcard for 2010 March to Abolish the Death PenaltyULEAD00002shujaapetition4334609754_275950f221_o41611_77905759472_9845_ntmnsign10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Photos by Jennifer Ross

Death Row Exoneree Shujaa Graham to Attend the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

Shujaa Graham, who spent three years on death row in California for a crime he did not commit, will be a special guest at the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty. Shujaa is coming as a member of the Journey of Hope and Witness to Innocence. He will join exonerees Curtis McCarty, Ron Keine, and Greg Wilhoit at the march. Shujaa was last in Austin during the Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break in March talking to students about his experience as a wrongfully convicted person condemned to death.

Shujaa Graham was born in Lake Providence, Louisiana and grew up on a plantation. His family members worked as sharecroppers in the segregated South of the 1950s. In 1961, he moved to join his relatives in South Central Los Angeles and build a more stable life. As a teenager Shujaa experienced the Watts Riots and police occupation of his community. In and out of trouble, he spent much of his adolescent life in juvenile institutions, and when he turned 18 he was sent to Soledad Prison.

Within the prison walls, Shujaa came of age, mentored by the leadership of the Black Prison movement. Shujaa taught himself to read and write, he studied history and world affairs, and became a leader of the growing movement within the California prison system, as the Black Panther Party expanded in the community.

Shujaa was framed in the 1973 murder of a prison guard at the Deul Vocational Institute in Stockton, California. Despite the local community’s involvement and support, Shujaa and his co-defendant Eugene Allen were sent to San Quentin’s death row in 1976. Because the district attorney had systematically excluded all African-American jurors, in 1979 the California Supreme Court overturned the death conviction. After three years on death row, Shujaa and his co-defendant continued to fight for their innocence. Their third trial ended in a hung jury, and it was not until after a fourth trial that they were found innocent. Rather than being protected by the United States’ criminal justice system, Shujaa often points out that he won his freedom and affirmed his innocence “in spite of the system.”

Shujaa was released in March 1981, and began work in the Bay area building community support for the prison movement and against police brutality. Since then he has moved away from the Bay Area and created his own landscaping business. He now gives lectures on the death penalty, the criminal justice system, racism, incarceration and innocence in America. “I’m filled with ideals for a better future,” he says. “That’s my struggle, and that’s going to be my struggle until I die. But I have no regrets. The movement has become my life; it gave me something to live for, made me proud of myself, and offered me a greater sense of dignity. I may never enjoy the fruits of this labor, but our children will. Hopefully they won’t have to experience what we experienced. We’ve spent many hours campaigning for something that should be here already —justice.”

Shujaa and his wife, Phyllis Prentice, raised three children together, and he developed a program combining his story with original blues lyrics put to music. Shujaa indomitable spirit and commitment to justice through Witness to Innocence make him a powerful leader in the anti-death penalty and human rights movements.

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Texas has executed more than 500 people since 1982. More than 250 people have been executed since Rick Perry became governor.

Before his execution, Todd Willingham told his parents, “Please don’t ever stop fighting to vindicate me.”

Before his execution, Troy Davis told his supporters in a letter, "There are so many more Troy Davises. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country."

On October 25, 2014 at 2 PM in Houston, you can join the fight for justice by attending the 15th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Sign the petition urging Governor Rick Perry to acknowledge that the fire in the Cameron Todd Willingham case was not arson, therefore no crime was committed and on February 17, 2004, Texas executed an innocent man.

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Donate by credit card or by sending a check to:

Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so donations are tax-deductible.

10th Annual March in Austin (2009)

10th Annual March in Austin (2009)

Cory Session, Brother of Timothy Cole, Speaking at 10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

Jeff Blackburn Speaking About Todd Willingham, 10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

Walter Reaves, Todd Willingham’s Appellate Lawyer, 10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

Anna Terrell, Mother of Reginald Blanton at the 10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

Todd Willingham: Innocent Person Executed by Texas