News Release

Death Penalty

Gary Graham is scheduled to be executed at 7 P.M. Eastern Time. The following analysts and critics of the death penalty are available for interviews:

WILLIAM HARRELL
Executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Harrell said today: “We are outraged by the board’s failure to halt this execution. The judicial system has failed us, the Board of Pardons and Paroles has failed us and the governor has failed us. This is the greatest proof that the time for a moratorium on executions in Texas is now.” The president of the board of the ACLU of Texas, Greg Gladden is coordinating the legal observers outside death row at the Huntsville prison.
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ROBERT MEEROPOL
Robert Meeropol and his brother Michael Meeropol are the only people in the U.S. to have both their parents (Julius and Ethel Rosenberg) executed. Robert Meeropol is now the executive director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. He said today: “The death penalty diminishes the humanity of all it touches. Rather than seeing Governor George W. Bush as a ‘compassionate conservative,’ we should see him as Governor Death. Bad as Graham’s execution is, the circumstances around it — testimony from one person at 30 feet, other witnesses not being able to testify in the case, notoriously ineffective counsel and the knowledge that that’s the norm rather than the exception for death row inmates in Texas — are even more horrifying. African Americans are on death row totally disproportionately to their numbers in the general population.”
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LANCE LINDSEY
Executive director of Death Penalty Focus, Lindsey said today: “If the state of Texas goes ahead with executing Gary Graham, it will be a huge stain. His case is so problematic, not just with reasonable doubt, but very real doubt. According to a recent poll, now 73 percent of the public in California want a moratorium on the death penalty. The death penalty is only about politics, and the worst sort of politics. It appeals to our worst instincts. It doesn’t make us safer, it’s not a deterrent.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167