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Two more executions scheduled this week: Your vocal opposition can make a difference

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Texas has been executing more people than any other state. Thirteen states do not have death penalty laws, even though federal capital trials can be held in those states. (Image from the Energy Department’s website).

Last night, the Texas government carried out yet another legalized murder, this time against Robert Martinez. Even if Mr. Martinez was as brutal and dangerous as reported in this article, that does not justify continuing this death penalty machine that traps too many innocent defendants; is racist in effect; is too riddled with racism in intent, starting with America’s shameful history of racism that does not automatically stop at the door to the jury deliberation room; is staggeringly expensive; and is not much of a deterrent, if any.

More executions are scheduled this week alone, as follows: March 7 (today): Joseph Nichols, TX , March 9: Allen Holman, NC , March 20: Kenneth Biros, OH, March 28: Vincent Gutierrez, TX, and March 29: Roy Pippin, TX.

If you oppose any or all of these planned executions, or the death penalty itself, please raise your voice in opposition by contacting the governors and lawmakers who can put a stop to executions, by writing letters to the editor (smaller newspapers, in particular, are eager to print such letters on both sides of the issue), by spreading the abolitionist message one person at a time, and by giving your time and funds to such organizations as the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Innocence Project.

It may seem frustrating to have but one voice against the death penalty, but even accumulated feathers sink the boat. Moreover ,the death penalty abolitionist movement has made more strides over the last few years than ever before. You can strengthen your voice against the death penalty by joining with like-minded people, including through the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty and its state and national affiliates. The path towards further erosion of the death penalty looks a whole lot brighter today than when I joined the abolitionist movement over twenty years ago.

Jon Katz.