Transforming the death penalty landscape in Texas
Within the span of four days in February, I met the daughter of a woman who was killed at Mother Emanual Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, three men from Dallas County who between them spent more than 50 years in prison as innocent men, and a pastor who witnessed the execution of a man whose mother is a member of her congregation. I also sat in a room at the State Capitol in Austin with Kent and Tanya Whitaker as we waited for attorney Keith Hampton to hear from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles whether it would grant Thomas Whitaker's petition for clemency. Kent - who is Thomas' father - had begged the Board for mercy, even though his son had orchestrated the murders of his own mother and brother. Kent also was shot in the ambush but survived and forgave his son.
When Keith announced that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had voted unanimously to recommend clemency for Thomas Whitaker - something that never, and I mean NEVER happens - I knew with every fiber of my being that things truly are changing on the death penalty issue in Texas.
These recent encounters with individuals who have experienced the trauma of murder and injustice at the hands of the state - and who so eloquently share their stories and desire for change -- refueled my passion to continue my lifelong work to end capital punishment. It has been my privilege to serve as the Executive Director of TCADP since 2008, and I'm so proud of everything we have done over the last ten years to transform the landscape on the death penalty in Texas.
Thank you for supporting our efforts!
Thank you for supporting my fundraising campaign, Kristin Houle
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