Abolish the Texas Death Penalty

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Texas statutes denote that pursuant to Penal Code 12.31: Capital Felony (a), “An individual adjudged guilty of a capital felony in a case in which the state seeks the death penalty shall be punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life without parole or by death” (Texas Penal Code). The purpose of this petition is to gain support in hopes of altering the language of this statute to abolish the death penalty. Currently there are 19 states who have either found an alternative to the death penalty or abolished it entirely. This petition is particular to Texas, who has the leading number of executions with upwards of 550 since about 1982.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, offers the right to life as well as the right to live free from torture (Amnesty International). The death penalty robs inmates of both of those rights. Additionally, there are those who fall victim to botched executions who then suffer an excruciating death. Texas Death Penalty Facts reports, “Since 1973, 161 individuals – including 13 people in Texas – have been released from death rows nationwide due to evidence of their wrongful conviction.” There are still those who proclaim their innocence and who have been exonerated, hopefully before they are executed. Carlos DeLuna. Ruben Cantu. Cameron Todd Willingham. Those are merely three individuals in Texas alone who were deemed innocent after they already suffered at the hands of the death penalty. That is not forget Gilmar Guevarra, Juan Castillo, Troy Clark, and hundreds of others who fell victim to wrongful convictions since the institution of the death penalty hundreds of years ago. I urge people to reach out to Governor Abbott and work alongside other organizations who strive to propose alternatives to the death penalty or work to gain support for its abolition. In our ever-changing society, values, morals, beliefs, but mostly the facts are stacked in favor of abolishing an age-old form of punishment that is no longer effective.

 



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