Texas marches against executions

November 3, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas--About 200 people came out to the Texas State Capitol building on October 30 for Austin's 11th annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty.

The event was organized by several groups anti-death penalty and criminal justice groups, including the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and Death Penalty Free Austin.

The rally brought together exonerated death row prisoners, including Shujaa Graham, Ron Keine, Gary Drinkard, Curtis McCarty, Albert Burrell and Greg Wilhoit; family members of current Texas death row inmates, and members of Journey of Hope, an organization of murder victims' family members who are against the death penalty.

McCarty spent 21 years in prison--including 19 years on death row--in Oklahoma for a crime he did not commit. Rodrick Reed, brother of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed was among the speakers. Rodney's family are fighting to prove his innocence in a 1996 murder case that was marred by prosecutorial misconduct, police corruption, a poor defense and racism.

Protesters rallied at the Capitol steps and then marched down Congress Street, chanting "They say death row, we say hell no!"

An important theme of the rally was highlighting the voices of death row prisoners fighting executions.

In a solidarity statement read by a family member, death row inmate Rob Will wrote, "It's important to continue the fight on the outside, but also to know that that on the inside people are fighting too."

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