Texas Democratic Party Adopts Platform In Favor of Repealing the Death Penalty
June 11, 2012
After 12 years of organizing and lobbying by ordinary grassroots Democrats across the state as well as by exonerated former death row inmates, the Texas Democratic Party has adopted a platform that calls for repealing the death penalty in Texas.
WTI member Clarence Brandley and Elizabeth Gilbert (a friend of Todd Willingham) both spoke at Friday’s packed caucus meeting of “Democrats Against the Death Penalty.” Click here to watch the video of Clarence speaking.
For more information click here.
Here is the text of the platform language:
Despite 41 DNA exonerations in Texas in the last 9 years, Rick Perry says he never loses sleep over executing the innocent. Perry has overseen 235 executions in Texas. Detailed research shows that the Texas death penalty system cannot insure that innocent and undeserving defendants are not sentenced to death. Death penalty exonerations have already revealed deep flaws in our State’s criminal justice system.
Evidence – including scientific evidence, extensive studies by the Innocence Project, major newspaper and university research strongly suggests that Texas has already executed innocent defendants including Carlos DeLuna, Ruben Cantu, and Cameron Todd Willingham. Former Governor Mark White has stated we must take every step to ensure there is never another innocent man executed.
The application of the death penalty in Texas is disproportionately applied to the poor and minorities. The system has allowed in the past the execution of juveniles, the mentally ill and poor defendants who had such inadequate counsel that their lawyers literally slept through their trials. Other states are increasingly rejecting the death penalty as evidenced by the legislatures in New Jersey (2007), New Mexico (2009), and Illinois (2011).
In order to promote public confidence and fairness in the Texas Criminal Justice system, Texas Democrats call for the passage of legislation that would repeal the death penalty in Texas and replace it with the punishment of life in prison without parole.
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