In order for the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider clemency, a clemency petition must be filed. The Governor can issue one 30-day reprieve on his/her own, but can only grant clemency upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. A recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles is not binding, however.
When TCADP is aware of death row inmates with active clemency campaigns, information on how to respond will be available here.
Since 1976, the Board of Pardons and Paroles has recommended clemency in only four cases where the inmate faced imminent execution. Texas Governor Rick Perry rejected two of those recommendations and allowed the executions to proceed.
Henry Lee Lucas – Governor George W. Bush commuted his sentence in 1998 due to lingering concerns about guilt. Lucas died of natural causes in prison in 2001 while serving a life sentence.
Kelsey Patterson – Governor Rick Perry rejected the Board’s 5-1 vote for clemency due to evidence of Patterson’s severe mental illness. His execution occurred on May 18, 2004.
Kenneth Foster – Governor Perry commuted his sentence in 2007 due to concern about a Texas law that allows capital murder defendants to be tried simultaneously. Foster had been convicted under the law of parties for a 1996 murder, even though he was sitting in a car 80 feet away at the time of the crime. He is serving a life sentence.
Robert Lee Thompson – Governor Rick Perry rejected the Board’s recommendation for clemency due to the fact that Thompson was not the triggerman in the murder of Mansoor Rahim. He had been convicted under the law of parties. His co-defendant, Sammy Butler, the actual killer of Mr. Rahim, was tried separately and convicted on a lesser charge. Butler is serving a life sentence and will be eligible for parole. Thompson was executed on November 19, 2009.
In order for the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider clemency, a clemency petition must be filed. The Governor can issue one 30-day reprieve on his/her own, but can only grant clemency upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. A recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles is not binding, however.You are welcome to contact the Board and Governor regarding inmates for whom there is no specific clemency campaign or for whom a clemency petition has not been filed. Here are some general talking points for your letters:
- • State your concern that executions continue to take place despite increasing public recognition of the inherent flaws and failures of the Texas death penalty system.
- • Express outrage and alarm at the high number of executions already scheduled to take place this year in Texas.
- • Urge the Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend clemency in this case.
Governor Rick Perry
Mailing Address: Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428 Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Information and Referral Hotline: (800) 843-5789 [for Texas callers]
Citizen’s Opinion Hotline: (800) 252-9600 [for Texas callers]
Information and Referral and Opinion Hotline: (512) 463-1782 [for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers]
Online Contact: http://www2.governor.state.tx.us/contact
Board of Pardons and Paroles
General Counsel’s Office 8610 Shoal Creek Boulevard Austin, Texas 78758
Phone (512) 406-5852, Fax (512) 467-0945
Chair: Rissie Owens
Juanita M. Gonzalez
TCADP members throughout the state hold respectful vigils on the days of executions in Texas. We encourage your participation in these local actions as a form of witness against state-sanctioned killing. Check the TCADP website or call the office 512.441.1808 for any last-minute developments regarding stays of execution.
Huntsville (Location of Executions) Corner of 12th and Ave. I (in front of Walls Unit) at 5:15 p.m.
Austin (Site 1) – On Congress at 11 St., 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Austin (Site 2) – Prayer vigil at St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church on Oltorf and S. Congress at 6:00pm (approx 20 minutes)
Austin (Site 3) - A prayer vigil is held after the noon Mass in the chapel of St. Catherine of Sienna parish on each day there is an execution scheduled. The prayer service runs for about ten minutes. All are invited to attend.
Austin (Site 4) – A prayer service with hymns and scripture readings is held on execution days in the evening in the Austin Presbyterian Seminary Chapel on @ 27th St. Email John Harrison for specific time and info – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beaumont – Diocese of Beaumont, Diocesan Pastoral Office, 703 Archie St.@ 4:00 p.m. on the day of an execution.
Brownsville – 802 and Paredes Line from 4:30 -5:30PM. Contact Joe Krause, 956-831-4354.
College Station – 5:30 to 6 PM, east of Texas A&M campus at the corner of Walton and Texas Ave. across the street from the main entrance.
Corpus Christi – Sisters of Incarnate Word Convent, 2930 Alameda, 6:00 pm
Cuero – At Gazebo on Main Street, next to Library, 5:45 PM. Public Invited. For information call 361-676-2921
Dallas – Execution day at 6 p.m. at the Cathedral of Hope – PeaceHouse Dallas Lobby (5910 Cedar Springs Rd). When you face the church, the entrance to PeaceHouse Dallas is on the right. It is the first glass door you come to. If the door is closed, ring the bell!
El Paso – 6:00pm on days of execution at (1) Saint Patrick Cathedral, 1118 N Mesa St (2) Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 131 S Zaragosa Rd. (3) Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (in the chapel), 2709 Alabama
Ganado – At Assumption Catholic Church Pro-Life Monument, 5:45PM. Public invited. For information call 361-771-3325.
Houston– Rotating Locations….April-June, at the corner of Main and Bissonett. Vigils are scheduled from 5:30 to 6:20.
Lubbock – St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1501 University Ave., 5:30 to 6:30PM
McAllen – In front of The Monitor, corner of Nolana and Jackson at 5:30PM. email@example.com
McKinney – St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Community located at 110 St. Gabriel Way, the last Sunday of the month, following the 11:00 mass to remember those scheduled for execution in the following month, as well as the victims of their crimes and family members on both sides.
Odessa – Public vigil takes place from 5:00 to 5:30 PM in front of St. Joseph Catholic Parish, 907 S. Dixie, Odessa 79761. Prayer takes place inside the church from 5:30 to 6:00 PM. All are welcome. The church phone number is 432-337-2213.
San Antonio (Site 1) – Archdiocese of San Antonio, in the St. Joseph Chapel at the Chancery, 2718 W. Woodlawn Ave. (1 mile east of Bandera Rd.) at 11:30 a.m. on the day of execution. Broadcast on Catholic Television of San Antonio (Time-Warner cable channel 15) at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the day of execution.
San Antonio (Site 2) – Main Plaza across from Bexar County Courthouse and San Fernando Cathedral – Noon
San Antonio (Site 3) – Join the Sisters of Divine Providence and friends in vigil and prayer from 6:00 - 6:30 pm on Texas execution days in front of Our Lady of the Lake Convent by the large crucifix. 515 S.W. 24th Street.
Spring – Prayer Vigil at 6 PM on evenings of executions at St Edward Catholic Community, 2601 Spring Stuebner Rd, Spring, TX 77389 for the murder victim, for family and friends of the murder victim, the prison guards and correctional officers, for the family of the condemned man/woman, for the man/woman to be executed and to an end to the death penalty.
Victoria – At Incarnate Word Convent, 5:45 PM. Public invited. For information call 361-575-7111.