Join Us for an Essential Conversation on Race & the Death Penalty

Dear Supporters,

Please join us for an important conversation about race and the death penalty in Texas. On May 30th from 6:30-7:30 pm central time, Estelle Hebron-Jones, Texas Defender Service’s Director of Special Projects, will co-lead a Zoom discussion about the legacy of lynching and slavery in Texas and its impact on the modern death penalty. You can find out more and register here.

Estelle will be joined by Tiara Cooper, Deputy Director of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Tiara, a Dallas native, is an award-winning social justice leader committed to mobilizing marginalized people, uplifting their stories, and utilizing grassroots efforts to impact policy change at the municipal, state, and federal levels. Tiara’s work is fueled by her own experience being handed a felony conviction as a teen.

Estelle will also be joined by seasoned grassroots activist and attorney Furonda Brasfield. Furonda is Director of the Noose to Needle Project, which explores the historical connections between lynching and racial terror and the modern death penalty.
Among other topics, Estelle will discuss TDS’s latest report, Arbitrary and Capricious: Examining Racial Disparities in Harris County’s Pursuit of Death Sentences. This report was the culmination of months of hard work and research from our team and sheds light on deeply concerning issues entrenched within Harris County’s criminal legal system. Shockingly, 20 out of the last 21 individuals sentenced to death in Harris County have been people of color. Of these 21 cases, appellate or post-conviction briefs have been filed in 19 of them; 17 of these briefs have allegations that race influenced the trial or sentence in some way.

We hope you can join us for this important conversation exploring how our country’s brutal history of white supremacy shapes our present and informs our injustice system today.

With gratitude,

Burke Butler
Executive Director
Texas Defender Service