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Apr 29, 2009
April has brought positive developments in justice, especially to condemned inmates. Thanks to decision makers who made just decisions on important issues. 

Good news! - Mississippi and S. Dekota passed laws allowing post-conviction DNA testing!  That means all but four states now allow inmates an opportunity to prove their innocence before execution.  Some states do not allow post-conviction DNA testing unless people are on death row, which means they could be sentenced to life without parole and NEVER get to prove their innocence.  The U.S. Supreme Court is deliberating whether that is right.  Hopefully, our justices will decide that it is never too late to take a test and get innocent people out of prison. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO MISSISSIPPI AND SOUTH DEKOTA!   HAPPY HEROES DAY!

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GOOD NEWS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS!


Happy Heroes Day to the  Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence!  Thank you for your righteous decision regarding the Law of Parties.

Texas Moratorium Network
April 21, 2009

The Law of Parties Bill Approved by the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence - April 21, 2009.

HB 2267 in the Texas Legislature would prohibit the state from seeking the death penalty for people in Law of Parties cases, which is a law that allows non-killers to be sentenced to death for the actions of another person. Kenneth Foster was sentenced to death under the Law of Parties before his death sentence was commuted to life in 2007 by Governor Perry.

Rep Hodge's bill was approved in the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence on April 21. It now goes to the Calendars Committee.

Scott Cobb recorded this
video of Rep Hodge talking about HB 2267 about an hour after the bill was approved in committee.

Read more here: 
http://stopexecutions.blogspot.com/2009/04/law-of-parties-bill-approved-by-house.html

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SIGN THE PETITION AGAINST THE LAW OF PARTIES!
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Challenge-the-Texas-Law-of-Parties

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TEXAS LAW OF PARTIES 

The Law of Parties is an arcane law used in Texas that convicts defendants of capital murder regardless if intent is proven. The Law of Parties was never intended to be used in Capital Cases.  Texas has over 100 men and woman charged with capital murder sitting on death row waiting to die for a crime they did not commit. You will meet some of these men and women here. http://www.texaslawofparties.com/

In the wake of all the media attention geared towards DNA and mental competency issues, inmates with other legitimate innocence claims are being unjustly sentenced and forgotten about.  People sentenced under the Law of Parties are among such claims.
~ Keith Hampton ( attorney for Kenneth Foster)

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    GOOD NEWS FROM THE STATE OF ALABAMA

HAPPY HEROES DAY, JUDGE PULLIAM!

Many people solute Judge Pulliam for her just decision to allow Alabama death row inmate Thomas Arthur the opportunity to have post-conviction DNA testing to possibly prove his innocence before execution.  Thank you, Judge Pulliam, for your just ruling! 

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Birmingham News - April 21, 2009
http://blog.al.com/birmingham-news-commentary/2009/04/our_opinions_alabama_judge_ord.html

If Bobby Ray Gilbert is telling the truth, Thomas Arthur has spent years on Death Row -- and three times has come within a day of being executed -- for a murder he didn't commit.

But is Gilbert telling the truth?

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam clearly has doubts. Gilbert, who is serving a life-without-parole sentence for other crimes, confessed to the 1982 shooting of Troy Wicker last summer, right before Arthur was to be put to death for the crime in his third close call with the execution chamber.

In a court hearing last week, Gilbert authenticated a sworn statement he had given about Wicker's murder but otherwise took the Fifth. That didn't make a good impression on the judge.

Pulliam could have left it at that, but she didn't.

She ordered DNA tests on a few pieces of surviving evidence in the case that could verify Gilbert's confession. "I have the advantage and the opportunity to have science perhaps disprove my preliminary feeling about Mr. Gilbert's affidavit," Pulliam said. "Because I do have that opportunity, I'm going to let science do its work."

*************************************************

To date, 237 former inmates have been exonerated.

THANK YOU, Judge Pulliam, Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, and great the States of South Dekota and Mississippi for your just rulings.  Thanks for letting your light shine. 

       HAPPY HEROES DAY!

 

 

 

 


 

 
 
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Mary Neal
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