On June 26th, Texas is poised to mark a grisly milestone: the 500th execution since executions resumed here in 1982. Texas is bucking a national trend towards the decline of the use of the death penalty – it has been abolished in several states over the last decade, juries meting out death sentences have dropped sharply and support for the death penalty has steadily decreased.
In Texas, over 400 people have been executed since 1995 under two governors alone: with former governor George W. Bush overseeing 152, and Rick Perry at 260. Meanwhile, Texas continues to be rocked by scandals regarding the flaws in our system, starting with the wrongful executions of people who were likely innocent like Cameron Todd Willingham, Ruben Cantu, Shaka Sankofa and Carlos De Luna. Added on to that are cases of racial bias and ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct and botched forensic investigations.
These problems are, to a greater or lesser extent, factors in every case of this cruel and unusual form of punishment, including in the case of Kimberly McCarthy, who is slated to be Texas’ 500th victim of state sponsored murder. Kimberly was convicted in the 1997 murder of her neighbor Dorothy Booth. However this case has the stamp of racist southern justice all over it. There was clear racial discrimination in the jury selection, and she was not provided with adequate legal council, which entitles her to an appeal under a recent Supreme Court ruling Trevino vs Thayer.
We ask the people of Texas to join us in our fight to end this continuing atrocity, and to help save the life of Kimberly McCarthy. We are calling on Texas residents and folks from around the country and the world to register their protest by joining us in a National Day of Action Fax/Email/Phone Jam.
Please call, fax and email Governor Rick Perry’s office:
Office of the Governor Main Switchboard: (512) 463-2000 (office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST)
Contact the Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles and tell them to grant Kimberly McCarthy clemency:
Call (512) 406-5852
Fax (512) 463 8120
If possible, you can join folks to protest this execution. The biggest protest planned will take place in Hunstville, Texas in front of the prison where death row is on the evening of June 26th, starting around 5 pm. The Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement has a bus to Hunstville that will leave from the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center in Houston at 2:00 pm on June 26th. Bus tickets are $10.00.
E-mail Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement at abolition.movement@hotmail
People protesting the execution in Austin will gather at the Capitol, on the front steps by the street at 11th and Congress.