December 7, 2016
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Largest Number of Executions Under One Governor in Modern Times

 

 

Amnesty International USA Press Statement 

Largest Number of Executions Under One Governor in Modern Times -- Despite Racial Disparities, Inadequate Counsel, Possibility of Innocent Being Put to Death
AS 200TH EXECUTION NEARS UNDER TEXAS GOVERNOR PERRY, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL DECRIES ‘SHAMEFUL MILESTONE’ 
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Contact:  Wende Gozan at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org, or Brian Evans at 202-544-0200 x496, bevans@aiusa.org. 

(Washington D.C.) – As Texas approaches its 200th execution under Governor Rick Perry, currently scheduled for today, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox issued the following statement: 

“This is a shameful milestone, one that proves Texas is more concerned with maintaining its rogue image than ensuring equality under the law.  Two hundred executions – the largest under one governor in modern U.S. history – will have taken place in a system that is rife with error and is strongly believed to have put innocent people to death. Instead of slowing down its frantic pace, Texas continues to play Russian roulette with people’s lives, pursuing a path that is as shocking as it is unacceptable. 

“Amnesty International’s recent report, Too Much Cruelty, Too Little Clemency, is a clear indicator of just how flawed Texas justice is.  A number of executions that took place under Perry’s governorship would now be considered illegal in the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Texas capital punishment system remains rigged from start to finish.  From inadequate representation at trial to an appellate system that fast-tracks executions to a clemency process that might as well not exist, the Texas death penalty is built for speed, not accuracy or justice.

“By saying Texas ‘by and large gets it right,’ Gov. Perry proves that he is out of touch with the realities of capital punishment.  His reported threat to gut a provision that would have limited executions to those who actually pull the trigger is the latest in a long line of missed opportunities to chart a new course.  While his neighbor to the West has shown such leadership, Perry remains an anachronism stuck in the ‘90s, oblivious to the failings of the system that everyone else, including many Texans, seems to recognize.” 

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries who campaign for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. 


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