Thursday, September 01, 2005

"September 14, 2005: Execution of Frances Newton" (Houston Indymedia)

From Houston Indymedia's main page, Karen asks that we note:

September 14, 2005: Execution of Frances Newton
New Evidence featured in
New York Times article email a bunch of public officials with the new mass-emailer.Attend the meeting this Wednesday.

The Committee to Free Frances Newton meets every Wednesday
at 6:30 PM
at Hitaji's Sacred Space,
2620 Fountainview, Suite 113.
Punch in "113" on the box and the door will open.

Harris County Courthouse, 1201 Franklin Street between 11:00 AM and1:00PM on Monday: prayer vigil.

There are 10,000 postcards to the governor that need to be distributed and signed March and protest in Austin on Saturday, August 27.
Checks can be made out to "Abolition Movement" and mailed to 2620 Fountainview, Suite 113, Houston, TX 77057.
Write "For Frances" on the memo line.
There are serious questions about the guilt of Frances Newton, whose attorney never interviewed witnesses, and never read the police offense report until he was in trial.

How to get involved:
Come to the meetings on Wednesday nights
at 6:30 PM
at 2620 Fountainview, Suite 113 (punch in 113 to have the door opened).
This week will be a working meeting and you can join in the media committee or the outreach committee. Or contact: Rabia or Grace. Media contacts: Art, and Bernadine. For flyers, postcards, DVD's, posters, contact Massoud. older audio reports about Frances Newton.

For more information on Frances Newton, you can watch, listen or read Democracy Now!'s
"From Death Row: Texas Set to Execute First African-American Woman Since Civil War."
Here's an excerpt from the opening of that report:

The State of Texas is scheduled to execute Frances Newton on September 14. She was convicted of the 1988 murder of her husband and two children allegedly to collect a $100,00 life insurance policy. Newton would be the first African American woman executed by the state since the Civil War. Supporters say the courts should grant Frances Newton another trial based on new evidence.
Two Dutch journalists recently interviewed the state prosecutor in charge of Newton's case. In that interview, Assistant District Attorney Roe Wilson contradicted a key piece of evidence that led to Newton's conviction. While prosecutors linked one gun to Newton, it now appears that there was a second gun that was never tested in a crime lab.
Texas leads the nation in the number of executions performed since the moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in 1974. Almost half of the people on death row in Texas are African-American though only 12 percent of the population is. And in Harris County, where Frances Newton is from, the police crime lab is notorious for botching capital cases.
Another hurdle in Newton's case was her state-appointed attorney. She was originally represented by the infamous defense attorney Ron Mock, who has lost so many capital cases that he is known as "death row Mock." At least sixteen of Mock's clients have gone to death row and he has never won an acquittal in a capital case. He has been suspended from the bar twice. A colleague in Frances Newton's case says Mock told her that he had not thoroughly examined the evidence. In another high profile capital case, Mock has been accused of inadequately defending Shaka Sankofa, or Gary Graham, in court.

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