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 Gary Drinkard to Attend 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

Gary Drinkard

Gary Drinkard

Gary Drinkard, an innocent man who spent almost six years on death row in Alabama, will be a special guest at the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty on October 30 at the Texas Capitol in Austin at 2 PM. Gary was released from death row on May 25, 2001. He will join exonerees Shujaa Graham, Curtis McCarty, Ron Keine, Albert Burrell and Greg Wilhoit at the march. Gary is coming to the march courtesy of Witness to Innocence.

Gary Drinkard was sentenced to death in 1995 for the robbery and murder of a 65-year-old automotive junk dealer in Decatur, Alabama. He was assigned two court-appointed lawyers; one specialized in collections and commercial work and another represented creditors in foreclosures and bankruptcy cases. These lawyers failed to present two witnesses: physicians who would have testified that Gary’s recent back injury made committing the crime a physical impossibility. Despite being home at the time of the murders, Gary was convicted and given the death sentence.

Yet Gary maintained his innocence, barely believing his sentence. The conviction rested primarily on testimony by Gary’s half-sister and her common-law husband, both facing charges for unrelated crimes. In exchange for testifying, all the charges against Gary’s half-sister were dismissed.

“The system is broken,” he says. “I don’t think the death penalty is appropriate for anyone. God is the only one who has the right to take a life.”

In 2000, two years after the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction, the state Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case for a new trial based on prosecutorial misconduct. Afterwards, the Southern Center for Human Rights, working with lawyers Richard Jaffe and John Mays, won him an acquittal in 2001. The Center later presented Gary to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in order to illustrate the urgent demand for competent lawyers for those facing the death penalty.

“The guys there are just like you and I,” Gary said of those he met on death row. “People depict them as animals in a cage to be kept in chains. But they’re human beings. They’re decent human beings. Some made a bad mistake. But people change. Some guys down there need to be down there for a long, long time, maybe the rest of their lives. But a lot of guys down there changed and would never harm someone again.” Today, Gary lives and works in Cullman, Alabama, and is active in the movement to abolish the death penalty.

The annual march is a joint project organized by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations: Texas Moratorium Network, the Austin chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center, Death Penalty Free Austin, and Kids Against the Death Penalty. Other sponsors include Journey of Hope…From Violence to Healing.

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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