Two Executions This Week in Texas

Two Executions This Week in Texas
Greetings!
Two weeks after the first African-American was elected President of the United States, two African-Americans are set to be executed in Texas this week. Last week, Texas also executed two African-Americans. The week before that Texas also executed an African-American. 40 percent of the people on death row in Texas are black, although blacks comprise only 11.9 percent of the Texas population. According to the TDCJ website, of the fourteen executions starting with the one on Nov 6, Elkie Taylor, and going until March 11, 2009, all the people scheduled for execution in Texas are either African-American (8) or Hispanic (5).
For more information on the issue of race and the death penalty, visit this page at the Death Penalty Information Center.
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Help Us Win a Membership Contest so that We Can Help Some Families of People on Death Row
Click here to join the "Abolish the Death Penalty Project" on Amazee.com and help us win a membership contest. We could win up to $5,000 to use against the death penalty. The project with the most members by Jan 22 wins. This is one of the easiest actions you can take to make a big impact for some of the families of people on death row, if we win.
We plan to use one-half of any prize money we win to help needy families of people on death row travel to visit their loved ones on death row. We will use the other half of the prize money to fight against the death penalty.
You have to go to the project page, click on "join project" on the right hand side, then click on "register". Then to qualify as one of the members who count towards the contest, you have to upload a profile picture or avatar of yourself. You don’t have to do anything else to help us win the membership contest, just join the project.
We were all moved by the family members who spoke at the 9th Annual March to Stop Executions in Houston, so we were thinking of how we could help them. We all know that the death penalty is reserved for the poor. There are no rich people on death row. We want to use one half of any prize money we get through this contest to help family members visit their loved ones on death row. Many families have a hard time making ends meet and the extra cost of traveling long distances to visit their loved ones on death row is a great financial burden. Some of the people on death row have young children who rarely get to visit them. We will decide which needy families to help in consultation with the other groups in Texas that work together against the death penalty, including Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Campaign to End the Death Penalty and the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement.
If we win the first place prize of $5,000, then $2500 will be reserved to help with trips to death row for families of people sentenced to death who need financial help to visit their loved ones. The other $2,500 would be used for activities during the upcoming Texas legislative session, such as a big anti-death penalty rally in Austin and other projects. If we only win third place, then we would have $1000 for the families and $1,000 for other expenses. But let’s aim for first place!
Thanks to Amazee for helping non-profits achieve their missions!
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November Executions in Texas
Elkie Taylor November 6 EXECUTED
TDCJ Info on Elkie Taylor
George Whitaker III Nov 12 EXECUTED
TDCJ Info on George Whitaker III
Denard Manns Nov 13 EXECUTED
TDCJ Info on Denard Manns
Eric Cathey Nov 18
Facebook Group for Cathey
TDCJ Info on Eric Cathey
Petition for Cathey
Rogelio Cannady Nov 19 STAYED
Online Diary of Rogelio Cannady
Sign Petition for Cannady
TDCJ Info on Rogelio Cannady
Robert Hudson Nov 20
Sign a petition for Robert Hudson
Facebook Group for Hudson
TDCJ Info on Robert Hudson
To send the Governor of Texas an email denouncing these executions, go to:
You can also call and leave him a voice message:
Telephone numbers for Governor Rick Perry of Texas
* Citizen’s Opinion Hotline [for Texas callers] : (800) 252-9600
* Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline [for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers] : (512) 463-1782
* Office of the Governor Main Switchboard : (512) 463-2000
* Citizen’s Assistance Telecommunications Device
If you are using a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD), call 711 to reach Relay Texas
* Office of the Governor Fax:
(512) 463-1849
Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
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Photos From 9th Annual March to Stop Executions
Scott Cobb has put some photos from the 9th Annual March to Stop Executions online.
Clarence Brandley speaking at 9th Annual March to Stop Executions in Houston, Oct 25, 2008. Clarence is an innocent person who spent ten years on death row in Texas before being fully exonerated.
Thank you to all the sponsors and attendees of the march, especially to the many family members of people on death row who attended and spoke out against the death penalty
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Hurricane Season: the hidden messages in water Texas Moratorium Network has been invited to participate in a dialogue at the Austin showing of HURRICANE SEASON: the hidden messages in water, which is a two woman show about unnatural disaster and a great shift in universal consciousness. Read more about this inspiring show at the show’s website: www.hurricaneseasontour.com.
The running time of the show is 2 hours. During the intermission between the first act and finale, representatives of TMN and other groups will be invited to come forward. Sallome Hralima, a powerful solutionary who has training and experience in transformational dialog, will be facilitating the ciphers.
AUSTIN the Off Center
11.19.08 | 6:30 PM
Austin, TX
The Off Center
2211 Hidalgo St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 476-7833
doors open (6:30)
show time (7:00)
Ticket Info: 10- 20 dollar sliding scale.
Hurricane Season is a post-Katrina performance uprising: a multi-media show and movement strategy that draws vital connections between shared struggles and common solutions in a critical moment in national and global history.
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Bill Filing Begins in Texas Legislature
November 10 was the first day for Texas legislators to pre-file bills for the legislative session that runs from Jan to May. Seven bills were filed on the first day. The first bill on the list, HB 111, grew out of the case of Kenneth Foster, Jr., who was tried together with a co-defendant. When Gov Perry commuted Foster’s sentence in 1987, he said he was concerned that Foster had not had a separate trial. Chair of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Aaron Pena’s HB 111 says, "the court may not join two or more defendants in the same criminal trial if any defendant to be tried is indicted or complained against for a capital felony, and the court shall order a severance as to any two or more defendants who are jointly indicted or complained against for a capital felony".
If you want to see a list of bills filed so far dealing with capital punishment, click here.
We are planning a big anti-death penalty rally and lobby day in the Spring. We will announce the date later.
Click here to find out who represents you in the Texas Legislature. Contact your representatives and tell them to support a moratorium on executions.
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Join our Online Social Networks
You can find TMN on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Change.org or read our blog. The TMN blog is a great way to keep up with anti-death penalty news from Texas. Subscribe to Texas Moratorium Network blogposts by Email.
We also send text alerts to cell phones using Upoc.
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Terri Been Reports on Problems Visiting Death Row to See Her Brother Jeff WoodTerri Been is the sister of Jeff Wood. She reports below on a recent visit to death row.
Yesterday’s visit to my brother was bitter sweet to say the least. Overall the visit went well, but it was very emotional and degrading!!! The lockdown has taken its toll not only on the overall policy at Polunsky, but on the spirit of the inmates as well.
I have visited the Polunsky unit MANY times over the course of my brother’s incarceration, but never have I experienced the overwhelming sense of complete and absolute dread that I felt there last night. Now don’t get me wrong, I have experienced dread there before, as my brother came within hours of his execution, and we said what we thought would be our final goodbyes to him, which has crippled and destroyed me emotionally; BUT the dread that I am talking about now reaches further than just those who have an execution date. The dread that I am talking about is a thick blanket that wraps around you and suffocates you when you walk into the visitation room, which you literally feel!
The tone for the evening was set when you pulled up into the facility. In the past we have always had to jump through hoops just to get into the place, but things are far worse now! Guards are now required to do "complete car checks" instead of the normal "pop the hood and trunk" checks. Visitors had their purses gone through, their glove compartments torn apart, bags/luggage in the car were rummaged through, you name it, it was searched. Did it stop there? Hell no; round two started at check in!!
Now, I’m going to flashback to the summer to give you a full picture of the nightmare we call check-in @ Polunsky, so please bare with me here: Imagine, if you will, having to make a run to the local Wal-Mart 3 different times to purchase clothing and shoes just to be allowed into Polunsky. This has happened on numerous occasions and to various visitors and this literally is no joke! (My sister-in-law, Kristin, and I have experienced this for ourselves.) This past summer we were scheduled for a normal 2 hour visit to see my brother; Kristin had quite literally just gotten off of the plane from overseas two hours before the visit was to take place, and come to find out that the airlines had lost all of her luggage (which she did not get back for almost a full week) so all she had was the clothing on her back. She was not happy because she wasn’t going to be able to "dress up" for him, and due to time restrictions, she decided to make do with what she had on. Having made the trip to the US on several occasions, she learned a few valuable lessons; one being when you’re on a plane for 17 hours you wear "comfortable clothing". The comfortable clothing that she was wearing was indeed appropriate, but the guard on duty felt that it was a little too form fitting; so we were sent to Wal-Mart, and mind you we are already late because of plane delays. Kristin grabs a baggy Mickey Mouse T-shirt, because there should be NOTHING wrong with a cartoon character T- shirt or so you’d think. So we get back to Polunsky, where we are turned away again because of the Mickey Mouse Logo, which has been adopted by the Mexican Mafia (one of the most powerful prison gangs in the US). On our second trip to Wal-Mart she purchases a plain black T-shirt; and with her new T-shirt on we walk back into the unit, but were turned aw, yet again, this time for her shoes!!! After purchasing a new pair of tennis shoes, we were finally allowed in, but with all of the trips back and forth to Wal-Mart, we had less than an hour visit.
Check in, sounds extreme doesn’t it? Well it can be and has been for MANY people!!! But, it has gotten worse, so in addition to the metal detectors and the wardrobe scrutiny we have always had to go through lets add the following: pat-downs/body searches, and counting your money down to the quarter. Waiting in line to be searched sucks, so if you know somebody who is going to visit, you may want to tell them to get there a little earlier than normal, because you will be searched. Think I’m kidding, ask the black lady a few people ahead of us in line that had to take off her "weave" and have it searched! You may also want to tell them that they will be patted down! Okay, let me rephrase that, you will be rubbed down and felt-up. I have gone through several pat searches in order to get into federal buildings before, but I have never experienced one quite like I got @ Polunsky this night!
When you walk in the do, you are now required to take off you shoes and socks so they can be searched. The metal detectors have new settings, and are picking up what seems to be everything; so ladies if you have jewelry, you might be better off leaving it in the car, because you will pass through the damn thing for every ring, necklace, or earring, not to mention belts. Some ladies even had to cover their breasts with their arms/hands to get through because the underwire in their bra kept setting off the alarm. "Pat-downs" now consist of the following for women: a lady using her two hands to rub the entire length of your leg. Each leg will be rubbed twice: one sweep covers the front/back and includes your ass-cheek, the second sweep of the leg covers the inside/outside, which includes a backhanded rubdown of your "downstairs privates". The search also includes having each breast examined by hand, starting on the inside of each breast, and cupping around to the outside. It is an absolutely humiliating experience, and is absolutely NOT necessary in my opinion!
I risked not being able to see my brother because I gave them hell about the new procedure. I told them I understood such procedures for those who were allowed contact visits, but Death row families NEVER get to touch or come in contact with the inmates, and that it was the corrupt guards who were causing this nightmare, and we should not be subject to sexual harassment just to get to see our loved ones because they are self-serving and money hungry. I actually said several other things to the guards that were not exactly polite or worth repeating, but at least I said my peace.
You are allowed to take $20 dollars into the unit, however we did not get to take in the full amount of $ because both change machines were down. Luckily, I knew somebody coming out of the early visit that had some change left over; which gave us an additional $7 dollars, but we were not even close to $20. MANY people did not get to take in any money because there was no change, and I tell you that was cruel and was done on purpose!
These men had gone months with Johnny bags! Remember the lockdown was not the only time they were getting these, just weeks before they were restricted to these bags because of the hurricane that hit, so we are talking almost two months on Johnny bags. My brother had lost at least 25 – 30 pounds since I had seen him at the end of August. I spent EVERY bit of change I had with the exception of 1 nickel on food for my brother. 2 hamburgers, three bags of chips, 2 snicker bars, a salad, 3 dr peppers, 5 beef jerky sticks, and a piece of pie were all gone in less than 3 minutes of receiving them. Seriously, no joking; he was quite literally starving and inhaled the food! I am thankful that I was able to provide him with that, but there were many others there that were hungry that got nothing and I feel so bad for them. So my second piece of advice is to make sure that you have change before you get to the unit, Do NOT count on the machines to be working! Also, if you feed your inmate like we do, you may also want to take the early session because they only have 1 machine now that serves "food" (sandwiches, salads, juice, pie, etc.) and nearly all of the food in that machine was gone from the 1st visit.
I’ll not even get into the property that was taken away or destroyed from these inmates.
Needless to say, the visit was absolute chaos! New Policies, new procedures, and new hours to call and make reservations to visit, the list goes on, but the important thing here is that nobody is handling it well, including the staff!
The only good thing that happened that night was in addition to getting to see my brother, my kids and I had the privilege of talking to several other inmates during our visit. (which is strictly forbidden, but we did it anyway.) We spoke with two of this week’s condemned inmates: Robert Hudson and Rogelio Cannaday. We told them that we had signed their petitions, and that we had written letters to the governor on their behalf. We also told them that there were a great many people who were fighting for them, and that we all would be calling the governor’s office this week in a continued effort to fight for their lives. They were very grateful and sent their thanks.
I could go on, but I have written a book here already! If you are pen-pals, or friends with any of these guys, they need our help in more than one way. Yes we want to fight to save their lives, but we need to fight for their rights inside as well. They also need financial contributions if you can afford it, as most of these guys have nothing left from all of the property raids and shake-downs. Their fans, hot-plates, radios, typewriters, and other various properties were taken and destroyed. Some people may be thinking that these inmates don’t need a radio, but I say different; that is their only link to the outside world other than any visit they may get. Complete Isolation leads to insanity, and being without this contact to the world will only cause more pain and suffering. Please keep these guys and their families in your prayers!
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Tell President-elect Obama to Shut Down the Federal Death Penalty System
We created a petition to urge President-elect Obama to "stop all federal executions and place a moratorium on federal prosecutions that seek the death penalty pending an independent study of the death penalty system that examines racial disparities, prejudicial errors, adequacy of legal representation, and other inequities in capital prosecutions".
Sign the petition here.
You can also send Obama an email on his transition website.
Read our previous post on this topic, "Obama Administration Urged to Stay All Federal Executions and Impose Moratorium on Death Penalty"
Donate to Help Us Fight the Death Penalty in Texas We will be very busy over the next several months, including protesting all the upcoming executions and preparing for the upcoming legislative session.
Please help us by making a donation.
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About reality

Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of change.org aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9033 This petition on change.org: Haiti disaster anniversary: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2?share_id=yIpWHEHxri&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2 http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9026 This petition on change.org: Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous_native_american_acts?share_id=NHvTtQadfP&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9024 This petition on change.org: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/artact_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jrs_holiday?share_id=QjOkAUGeBQ&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday http://www.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9022 This petition on change.org: Economically empower through advocacy: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy?share_id=WZNqBQWcXE&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_throug
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