I am relieved to tell you that today, October 26, 2023, less than five hours before he was set to be put to death, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution for Will Speer. Will Speer will live to see another day and continue to spread his message of hope and healing in Texas prisons.
Our deepest gratitude extends to the thousands of you who joined the survivor of Will’s victim – and faith leaders from Texas and around the country – to tell Texas that Will’s life was worth saving.
Will’s application raised many issues before the Court, including prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to present mitigating evidence. The Court stayed the execution pending further decision on the claims raised. An incredible legal team has worked doggedly for this result, led by lawyers from the Capital Habeas Unit of the Western District of Texas and assisted by a team of mitigation specialists from Texas Defender Service.
Will, the first faith coordinator of Texas death row, has dedicated his life to service and ministry. Sammie Gail Martin, the sister of Will’s victim Gary L. Dickerson, said of Will: “In my heart, I feel that he is not only remorseful for his actions but has been doing good works for others and has something left to offer the world.”
Thank you to you, our supporters, for being a part of our fight for humanity and justice in Texas.
Texas Defender Service