A message from Eleanor:

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

e - @ b o l i t i o n i s t

April 2006

Please forward and cross-post this message widely.

Six Executions Scheduled for the Second-half of April

There are six execution dates lined up in April, all within two weeks of each other. Three are from Texas and one each from Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. One of the Texas death row inmates is Pedro Sosa, who was granted a stay back in October 2005, and has been scheduled a new date.

Pedro Sosa has been on death row for 23 years. His most recent execution date was stayed after his attorneys filed a motion, arguing that the courts had yet to consider evidence that Sosa is mentally retarded. Generally, a person with an IQ of 70 or below is considered mentally retarded. Sosa scored a 66. The case of Marvin Wilson also touches on the issue of mental retardation. The most recent measure of Wilson’s IQ, presented by a psy­cho­lo­gist at a 2004 state hearing, was 61. In this particular case, the attorney assigned to Wilson failed to meet a deadline laid out by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), which governs the habeas appeals process, and as a result, Wilson will likely be executed on a technicality.

Read more about these and the other four cases below -- and ACT!

Do Not Execute Pedro Sosa!

The State of Texas is scheduled to execute Pedro Sosa, a Latino, on April 25, 2006 for the kidnapping and shooting death of Ollie “Sammy” Childress, a white man and a Wilson County sheriff’s deputy. There is good reason to believe that Sosa--who scored a 66 on his IQ test--is mentally retarded. Furthermore, Sosa maintains his innocence, denying any involvement with the kidnapping, bank robbery, or murder.

Not only is the State preparing to execute a mentally retarded person, it is planning to do so on a weak case. There are several issues surrounding the case that cast doubt upon Sosa’s guilt. Moreover, Sosa claims that law enforcement officials forced him to confess by threatening him and his wife, who was with Sosa at the time of his arrest.

ACT NOW by contacting Gov. Rick Perry requesting that he stop the execution of Pedro Sosa!

Read More and Take Action at: //www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3221

Do Not Execute Marvin Lee Wilson! Marvin Lee Wilson, a black man, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of 21-year old Jeffrey Robert Williams, a police informant. Wilson’s case highlights many of the most troubling issues of the U.S. death penalty system.

In a December 2005 ruling the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals callously refused to consider Wilson’s case despite their acceptance that Wilson made a prima facie showing of mental retardation simply because Wilson’s court-appointed attorney failed to file the appeal on time. The average court-appointed capital defense lawyer is overworked and underpaid, so it is not surprising that those factors, combined with the somewhat incomprehensible statutes of the AEDPA, led to Wilson’s attorney failing to file his appeal within the necessary time frame.

ACT NOW by contacting Gov. Rick Perry and asking that Marvin Lee Wilson's execution be halted!

Read More and Take Action at: //www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3222

See and act on all current Execution Alerts at

April 18: Richard Thornburg Jr., OK //www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3262

April 21: Willie Brown Jr., NC //www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3220

April 25: Pedro Sosa, TX //www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3221

April 26: Marvin Wilson, TX //www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3222

April 27: Derrick Frazier, TX //www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3224

April 27: Dexter Lee Vinson, VA //www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ncadp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=3223


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April 2006


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