TCADP’s success in the Texas legislature depends a great deal upon the involvement of our members and supporters. Your role in the legislative process, as constituent, cannot be overemphasized. Your voice makes a difference! TCADP urges you to contact your State Senator, State Representative and the Governor and tell them of your concerns about capital punishment. If you are unsure who your Senator or Representative are, visit the Texas Legislature on-line at www.capitol.state.tx.us and provide the requested information under “Who Represents Me?”
Here’s an update on our activities to date in the 83rd Legislative Session (2013):
- Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) files House Bill 1703, which calls for repeal of the death penalty in Texas;
- Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston) and Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth) sign on to the bill as co-authors;
- TCADP Lobby Corps meet with dozens of legislative offices to encourage their support for HB 1703 and to call for a committee hearing;
- HB 1703 receives a hearing by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on April 29, 2013.
TCADP also has provided support for House Bill 2458 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), which seeks to prohibit the imposition of a death sentence or execution under any judgment that was sought or obtained on the basis of race. On April 16, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee heard testimony on this legislation. Both HB 2458 and 1703 have been left pending in the committee. Read more about the hearings here and here.
Take action now!
Please call or email the members of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee to thank them for conducting fair and open hearings on HB 1703 and HB 2458 and urge their support for repealing the death penalty in Texas. Contact information for the committee members can be found below. We also encourage you to contact your State Representative to let them know that HB 1703 was heard in the committee on April 29 and that you support this legislation.
Contact Information for the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Chairman: Rep. Abel Herrero (District 34-Robstown)
Vice Chair: Rep. Stefani Carter (District 102-Dallas)
Ask for Nikki Tyson.
Rep. Lon Burnam (District 90-Fort Worth)
Ask for DeAndrea Petty, Criminal Justice Policy Analyst. Rep. Burnam is one of the authors of HB 1703, so please thank him for his leadership and support (if you haven’t done so already!).
Rep. Terry Canales (District 40-Edinburg)
Ask for Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith. Thank Rep. Canales for his comments during the hearing, during which he declared that “the death penalty doesn’t really work [and] there’s no justification for it.”
Rep. Bryan Hughes (District 5-Mineola)
Rep. Jeff Leach (District 67-Plano)
Ask for Chris Kirby or Mary McClure.
Rep. Joe Moody (District 78-El Paso)
Ask for Chief of Staff Ellic Sahualla.
Rep. Matt Schaefer (District 6-Tyler)
Ask for Judd Quarles.
Rep. Steve Toth (District 15-The Woodlands)
Ask for Michael Houck.