HOUSTON,TX -- The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) will recognize State Representative Jessica Farrar for her work towards abolishing the death penalty in Texas at the “Seizing the Momentum: Honoring Houston’s Champions of Justice" reception.
During the 82nd Legislative Session, Representative Farrar introduced House Bill 819; which asked to remove all reference to the death penalty from Texas's criminal laws. In this bill, juries maintain the option to sentence capital offenders to a traditional "life" term or to "life without parole".
The reception, “Seizing the Momentum: Honoring Houston’s Champions of Justice,” honoring Nicole Casarez, David Dow, and Rep. Jessica Farrar, will be held at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, 1502 Alabama Street on Thursday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will benefit TCADP’s ongoing advocacy efforts and educational outreach to citizens to raise awareness about the flaws and failures of the death penalty. TCADP and the Station are hosting this event to thank individual Houstonians whose efforts and victories have enriched the conversation with the public about the death penalty.
About the Honorees and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Nicole Casarez is an attorney and a professor at St. Thomas, where she teaches journalism, media law, public relations and media ethics. On October 27, 2010, Anthony Graves walked out of the Burleson County Jail after spending 18 years in prison – including 12 years on death row – for a crime he did not commit. Prosecutors dropped all charges against Graves and declared him innocent after conducting their own investigation of the case. Nicole and her students played a pivotal role in the exoneration of Anthony Graves, and their investigation has attracted significant statewide and national attention.
David Dow is a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where he joined the faculty in 1988. Professor Dow is also the founder of the Texas Innocence Network and the Litigation Director at the Texas Defender Service. Often working with UH Law Center students, he has represented more than one hundred death row inmates in their state and federal appeals. In addition, he is the author of Executed on a Technicality: Lethal Injustice on America’s Death Row (2005) and The Autobiography of an Execution (2010), which received first place in the non-fiction category for Barnes & Noble’s 2010 Discover Great New Writers Awards. His work appears often in the New York Times and the Washington Post and on NPR.
Rep. Jessica Farrar (District 148) has served nine terms as State Representative of District 148 in Houston. First elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1994 at the age of 27, she is the longest-serving Hispanic from Houston in the Texas House of Representatives. Rep. Farrar works extensively on issues related to the environment, women’s health, children’s healthcare, education, taxes, homeowner rights, homeland and border security, domestic violence, sexual assault, reproductive rights, insurance coverage, transportation, discrimination, and criminal and juvenile justice. Since 2007, she has been the lead sponsor of legislation calling for the repeal of the death penalty in Texas. Currently, Representative Farrar serves as the Vice-Chair of the Environmental Regulation Committee and the Leader of the House Democratic Caucus.
The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP) is a statewide, grassroots membership organization working to end the death penalty in Texas. TCADP engages in outreach, education, and advocacy aimed at raising awareness of issues related to the death penalty and mobilizing the citizens of Texas - and their elected officials - to support abolition. We invite all concerned citizens to join our growing movement.
Ariana A. Campos
P.O. Box 30099