Stop the Killing by the State! The Campaign to End the Death Penalty's 14th Annual Convention. October 25-26 2014 in Houston, TX. Hampton Inn and Suites, 5820 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX Once again, the CEDP’s annual gathering will be held in the belly of the beast – this time in Harris County, which traditionally has sentenced the most people to death row in Texas. The event also coincides with the 15th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty, an event put on by Texas abolitionists that will take place in Houston this year. The program short convention program will take place over Saturday and Sunday mornings and will include: A screening of The Road to Livingston, a wonderful documentary featuring CEDP Board member Delia Perez Meyer and her brother, Louis Castro Perez - innocent on Texas death row. Speeches by the family of Rodney Reed - innocent on Texas death row and facing an execution date of January 15, 2015. Strategy session on the campaign to stop the execution to follow. Registration: Please take the time to register online before the event! Registration will be $15 - $10 for students and family members of prisoner or former prisoners. Register here. Hotel: The CEDP has been given a discounted rate at the Hampton Inn and Suites of I-10 near downtown Houston. To take advantage of the discount reserve online here. Reservation must be made by October 6th to receive the discounted rate. - See more at: http://nodeathpenalty.org/stop-killing-state-campaign-end-death-penaltys-14th-annual-convention#sthash.pF6ibpMo.dpuf
The 15th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty is Saturday October 25, 2014 in Houston, Texas. We gather at 3:00 pm at Little Tranquility Park on Capitol and Bagby and at 4:00 will cross Bagby and line up at the Old Hanging Tree to march to M.E.C.A. at 1900 Kane Street. We will rally on the basketball court at M.E.C.A. More details and a flyer will be coming soon.
The 14th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty was Saturday November 2, 2013 at 2 PM in Austin, Texas at the Capitol. Each autumn since 2000, people from all walks of life and all parts of Texas, the U.S. and other countries have taken a day out of their year and gathered in Austin to raise their voices together and loudly express their opposition to the death penalty. The annual march is organized as a joint project by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations working together with leading national 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, Kids Against the Death Penalty, and national organizations including Journey of Hope … from Violence to Healing, and Witness to Innocence.
Texas has the highest number of executions of any state in the country. With that in mind, hundreds of protestors took the streets of Austin to make a change, but not everyone is happy to see them there. Hundreds marched through downtown Saturday, protesting the death penalty and the governor they say supports it. Marchers chanted, "Rick Perry you can't hide! We charge you with homicide!" "We just saw the 250th execution under Governor Perry and that includes some controversial executions," said organizer, Lily Hughes. Protestors allege that innocent people have been executed in Texas during recent years and brought up controversial executions like that of Cameron Todd Willingham. Willingham has already been executed, but family is trying to exonerate him from charges that he murdered his three young children. Protesters are also hoping to stop future executions like that of Darlie Routier, the Rowlett, TX mother convicted of murdering her two children in 1996. Her family is reportedly working to retest forensic evidence that they say will prove Routier's innocence. I'm telling you this could happen to you. If your children or anybody dies in your home, your grand kids die in your home, do not for a minute think they're not going to accuse you," said Sarilda Routier, Darlie Routier's former mother-in-law.
CONTACT: Scott Cobb, 512-552-4743
13th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty to be Held at the Texas Capitol in Austin Saturday November 3, 2012
The 13th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty will be held Saturday, November 3, 2012 on the South Steps of the Texas Capitol at 2 PM. After a short pre-march speaker's program, the attendees will march through the streets of downtown Austin with a stop in front of the Texas Governor's mansion and return to the Texas Capitol to hear more speakers against the death penalty.The march will be led by 4 death row survivors who each spent many years on death rows around the U.S. for crimes they did not commit. The 4 exonerees are coming to Texas as members of Witness to Innocence, which is the nation’s only organization composed of, by and for exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones. These individuals are actively engaged in the struggle to end the death penalty, challenging the American public to grapple with the problem of a fatally flawed criminal justice system that sends innocent people to death row.
"Other states are reconsidering the death penalty in the face of mounting budget problems and problems in the system that put innocent people at risk of execution. On November 6, California voters will decide whether to retain or abolish the death penalty in California. In 2012, Connecticut became the 17th state to abolish the death penalty. Juries across the nation, including in Texas, are sentencing fewer and fewer people to death. In Texas last year, only 8 people were sentenced to death, but Texas continues to lead the nation in numbers of executions. The 250th execution since Governor Rick Perry assumed office took place on October 31. Overall, Texas is nearing 500 total executions since resuming executions in 1982 after an 18 year moratorium. Although Texas far outranks other states in executions, more and more Texans are growing uncomfortable with our state's use of the death penalty and reaching the conclusion that it is a public policy that we can do without", said Scott Cobb, president of Texas Moratorium Network.
After a 12 year campaign by activists and party members, the Texas Democratic Party adopted a platform in 2012 that calls for abolishing the death penalty in Texas. The number of new death sentences nationwide hit a 35 year low in 2011.
One of the speakers at the march will be Clarence Brandley, who spent ten years on Texas death row. “As they see what the death penalty really means, in my case and others, more and more Texans believe that Texas can do without the death penalty,” said Brandley, from Conroe, Texas, who has been fighting for compensation from the state of Texas for over twenty years.
Other exonerees speaking will be Shujaa Graham, Ron Keine and Albert Burrell.
Family members of people currently on death row who will be speaking include Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner (wife of Hank Skinner), Sylvia Garza (mother of Robert Garza), Terri Been (sister of Jeff Wood), Delia Perez Meyer (sister of Louis Castro Perez), and Sarilda Routier (mother-in-law of Darlie Routier).
The annual march is organized as a joint project by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations working together with national organizations: Texas Moratorium Network, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Students Against the Death Penalty, Witness to Innocence, Kids Against the Death Penalty, International Socialist Organization, the Texas Civil Rights Project, ACLU-Texas, the Journey of Hope ... from Violence to Healing, The Austin Chronicle, NOKOA, Gray Panthers, Democrats for Life, and Texas Democrats Against the Death Penalty.
Texas Abolition Weekend:
Register now for the CEDP's annual convention!
Location: Austin, TexasRegister now for the convention! Once again this November, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is headed straight to the belly of the beast - Texas - for a weekend of struggle and organizing! This year's convention will take place the same weekend as the 13th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty – an event that will be at the heart of the weekend on Saturday November 3, at 2PM at the Texas State Capitol. And of course, we will be taking the time to talk about questions on how to build a movement that combats racism in the criminal justice system, supports resistance behind bars, aims to end mass incarceration and harsh punishment and makes the death penalty history. Our convention is always a place for family members of prisoners, former prisoners, and activists to gather, share our stories and experiences, and strategize next steps forward for our organization and the cases we work on. We hope you will join us November 2-4 in Austin, Texas for our 12th annual national convention! REGISTRATION: This year's registration includes a special Saturday morning breakfast. Regular registration is $40 including the dinner, and $20 for family members, former prisoners and students. There will be a Friday evening event which is free to all convention attendees and others. Register now for the convention! Or you can mail in your registration to: CEDP, P.O. Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60647, and make your check out to the CEDP. BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM We have reserved a block of rooms at the Clarion Inn at a special rate of $113.85 (includes tax). To make reservations, call 800-434-7378 and mention the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. The hotel offers a free breakfast and is within walking distance of the convention site. Check out the Clarion website to view pictures or get more information. For a map of the hotel and convention site click here. CONVENTION SITE: VENTANA DEL SOUL The Campaign to End the Death Penalty is excited to be hosting our annual convention in Austin at Ventana Del Soul. Ventana is a charitable organization that provides food service and culinary arts training to young people and adults who are undermployed – with a emphasis on reentry support for the formerly incarcerated. The Ventana Del Soul facility hosts a kitchen and café that is open daily, as well as catering services. The folks working at the venue are part of Ventana's various training programs, often through scholarships provided by the organization. No outside food and drinks should be brought into Ventana Del Soul. This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a charitable mission the meshes nicely with the CEDP's commitment to fighting against the injustices in the system. We should do whatever we can over the weekend to talk with and support the folks at Ventana Del Soul. For more information check out Ventana's website. DONATE TO THE COSTELLA CANNON FUND Every year, because of contributions like yours, we are able to fly family members and former prisoners to this annual gathering where they are able to participate, speak, share their story their pain and their hope. The fund is named after Costella Cannon, our dear friend and a fellow Campaigner who died in 2003. Her son was wrongfully incarcerated and a victim of torture and died while incarcerated. The voices of family members and former prisoners are so important to the movement for justice. Politicians want us to think that the men and women behind bars are monsters. We know that this is not true. Family members and former prisoners put a human face on the criminal justice system. Their contributions to the movement are invaluable. As Lawrence Foster, grandfather of former death row prisoner Kenneth Foster once said, convention is a place where activists become family members and family members become activists. Please donate what you are able to make sure that we have funds to get these important voices to our convention. We are so grateful for any support folks can give. Make a donation online here. Checks made out to the CEDP can be mailed to P.O. Box 25730 Chicago, IL 60625
************************************************Featured Speakers will include: FORMER PRISONERS: Lawrence Hayes – Former New York death row prisoner Mark Clements – Former Illinois juvenile life without parole prisoner and police torture victim Darby Tillis - Former death row prisoner in Illinois *Also invited to call in from prison are California death row prisoner Kevin Cooper and former Illinois death row prisoner FAMILY MEMBERS: 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 Terri Been – Sister of Texas death row prisoner Jeff Wood who was convicted under the Texas Law of Parties Jeannine Scott – Wife of Michael Scott who was freed in the Yogurt Shop case in Austin, Texas Derrel Myers – a member of Murder Victims Families for Human Rights and a long-time civil rights and antiwar activist Lawrence Foster, Sr. – Grandfather of former Texas death row prisoner Kenneth Foster, Jr. whose sentence was commuted to life in 2007 ************************************************
Among the sessions:
The shameful record of the Texas death penalty: From Shaka Sankofa to Rodney Reed Abolition breakfast: Why we march! One struggle: The Campaign to End the Death Penalty and the new movement for racial justice. Our vision for winning abolition: How we fight matters!
[caption id="attachment_746" align="alignleft" width="300"] Derrick Jamison embraces new exoneree Damon Thibodeaux.[/caption] Derrick Jamison, an innocent man who spent 17 years on death row in Ohio, will be a special guest at the 13th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty on November 3, 2012 at the Texas Capitol in Austin at 2 PM. He is a member of Witness to Innocence. Derrick Jamison was one of four exonerated death-row inmates ( along with Ray Krone, Shujaa Graham and Ron Keine) who went to Santiago, Spain to film a TV commercial featuring Coca-Cola's sports drink Aquarius. They filmed for 6 days, sometimes for 18 hrs a day for these few seconds of air time. Coca-Cola says that their message reached hundreds of millions of people in Spain, Central, and South America. Three of the exonerees featured in the commercial will now be at the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty on October 30 at 2 PM at the Texas Capitol in Austin. Click here to watch the 1 minute 31 second version on YouTube. More about Derrick Jamison:
When James Suggs, an eyewitness to the robbery and murder of a Cincinnati bartender, was shown photo arrays of suspects by police, he identified two men—but neither of them was Derrick Jamison. There were also multiple contradictions between physical descriptions of the perpetrators given by witnesses and Derrick’s actual appearance. This information was withheld from Jamison’s trial, and as a result, an innocent man spent nearly 20 years on Ohio’s death row for a crime he did not commit. In February 2005, Ohio Common Pleas Judge Richard Niehaus dismissed all charges against Derrick after his conviction was overturned three years earlier. Jamison was convicted and sentenced to death in 1985 based largely on the testimony of Charles Howell, a co-defendant whose own sentence was reduced in exchange for testimony against Derrick. Statements were withheld that contradicted Howell’s testimony, undermined the prosecution’s explanation for the death, and ultimately would have incriminated other suspects for the murder. Two federal courts ruled that the prosecution's actions denied Derrick a fair trial. Today, Derrick is fully aware of the inequality of the criminal justice system. “There is a double standard when it comes to justice in our judicial system, especially with wrongful conviction,” he says. “If you are a minority or a low-income citizen, the pursuit of justice can be an elusive one. But if you are rich it happens overnight.” Although his resentment towards the system is subsiding, Derrick continues to express anger about how the 17 years he spent on death row impacted his life and the lives of his family members. At the time of sentencing, he was incredibly troubled because of his unjust imprisonment. “I was very angry, furious and distraught. . . all the emotions that stir up anguish. It made me feel it was over for me. Not only did that sentence affect me, it was the demise of my mother and father.” Derrick expresses daily gratitude for his release. “In the 21 years I experienced ‘dead man walking’ I never had anything to smile about,” he says, “but on that day, I felt the smile come from within my heart. The sun shone down on me that day.”The annual march is organized by several Texas and national anti-death penalty organizations, including 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, Kids Against the Death Penalty, the Texas Civil Rights Project, Amnesty International at the University of Texas, S.H.A.P.E Community Center, the Journey of Hope ... from Violence to Healing, and Witness to Innocence.
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