March Against Executions

This year's Texas Moratorium Network-organized march to focus on execution of innocents

The seventh annual march against executions organized by the Texas Moratorium Network will focus this year on the execution of innocents – of which death penalty foes argue there are now three firm examples.

Carlos De Luna was executed in 1989 for the murder of a convenience store clerk in Corpus Christi. De Luna maintained his innocence and told prosecutors he knew who did the murder; but prosecutors ridiculed De Luna's claim, calling Carlos Hernandez, the man De Luna fingered, a mere "phantom" of De Luna's imagination. As it turned out, however, prosecutors knew Hernandez, and knew that he'd recently assaulted someone else with a knife, in a crime eerily similar to the convenience store murder.

Ruben Cantu was executed in 1993 for a San Antonio murder that it seems unlikely he committed. An investigation by the Houston Chronicle last year prompted Bexar Co. officials to reopen the case – though since then, the train has seemingly ground to a halt, likely because Bexar Co. District Attorney Susan Reed – who presided over Cantu's case as a district judge – has thus far refused to relinquish control over the inquiry to an outside, uninvolved third party for review.

Finally, in May, the case of Cameron Todd Willingham was forwarded to the Forensic Science Commission for review. Willingham was executed in 2004 for a 1992 arson murder that arson experts now say was not even arson.

The Texas Moratorium Network will feature the cases of the three executed men at its Oct. 28 march; protesters will start the day with a brunch hosted by the Inside Books project from 10am-3pm; at 3pm they'll gather outside the Governor's Mansion for a march down Congress Avenue to City Hall Plaza. For more info, see www.texasmoratorium.org.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Capital Punishment, Death penalty, Carlos De Luna, Ruben Cantu, Cameron Todd Willingham

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