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Petitioning Governor of Texas Greg Abbott

Let Max Soffar, an innocent man, die at home

After serving 34 years on death row for a crime that he did not commit, Max Soffar is suffering the last stages of liver cancer. He only has weeks to live, and should be released so he can die at home with his family and friends.

Max Soffar’s pleas for clemency in various courts have fallen on deaf ears. This is the time for mercy – let’s not let him fall through the cracks of justice; let’s not let him die behind bars.

Max’s ordeal began in 1980 when he was arrested for a robbery-murder at a Houston bowling alley. He was 24 years old. After being subjected to three days of aggressive, unrecorded interrogation, police convinced Max to sign a false confession, typed by the police.

That false confession is the only piece of evidence linking Max to the crime.

I sincerely believe that in our broken court system, Max has already suffered too much. He has been subjected to severe injustice despite his innocence.

Former Texas Governor Mark White, who oversaw 19 executions during his time in office, agrees that Max is innocent, and is joining our fight to let Max die at home. In an impassioned plea, he said, “there isn’t a shred of evidence from the crime scene to corroborate Max’s supposed confession,” and called it a conviction based on “a series of gross improprieties.”

On death row, he has no human contact except for medical staff and the guards who shackle him. When his wife visits, she and Max are separated by glass. He sits on one side on a hard metal stool bolted to the floor, struggling to find a comfortable position for his cancer-ravaged body.

Max is dying – he has so little time left. Don’t let an innocent man die behind bars. May God give you all a discerning and wise heart. I am praying for you.

From the heart,

Sister Helen Prejean with ACLU Action

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