Roundup: Texas Civil Rights Issues on the 'Net

North Texas IndyMedia features a compelling blog by the sister of a jailed Dallas man who, she argues, has been falsely charged in the beating death of an elderly man. Be sure to view the video.

Texas has scheduled an execution Thursday (28 July) at 6pm for David Martinez. The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) argues that life circumstances should be more carefully considered:

Like many on death row, Martinez comes from a troubled background. His
attorneys said that he moved from Texas to Iowa and back to Texas,
living with one parent or the other. While Martinez lived in Austin
during his early to mid-teens, his father was “heavily involved” in
making sadomasochistic paraphernalia. For some time before his arrest,
Martinez lived on the street. In his case file, a March 1997 form from
the Salvation Army lists him as homeless.

The Austin American-Statesman on July 27 features a story by Chuck Lindell about a last-minute appeal by Martinez:

The last-gasp appeal accuses prosecutors of failing to
adequately investigate allegations that Martinez, now 29, was sexually
abused as a teenager by his father and his father’s boyfriend,
practitioners of a sadomasochistic lifestyle who — until recently —
eluded defense investigators while "living a kind of underground life,"
the appeal states.

Only recently was the father located.  At issue is the need to
take abuse into consideration when deciding for life or death. 
Prosecutors (and the Fifth Circuit) have argued that the question of
sex abuse was raised too late in the process.  Defense attorney
Gary Taylor is quoted in the last paragraph of the story saying: "At
some point, whether they choose this case or not, (appellate courts)
are going to have to address this issue where the district attorney is
the caretaker of justice — where if the DA takes one action, he may be
prosecuting a wrong but may be hurting his case in another area."

Below the break is a roundup of civil rights in the Texas Blogosphere.
Dos Centavos links up resources for a proposed DREAM act, to enable long-time immigrant students their just opportunity to complete citizenship.


Brains and Eggs
says ‘bullshit‘ to the Roberts nomination.


La Bloguerra
links to reports that low income housing has been redlined from ‘Northside’ San Antonio neighborhoods.


Latinos for Texas
link to a Houston janitors
strike, "to protest illegal threats by the nation’s largest cleaning
company, ABM, against workers trying to secure better jobs and
affordable health care." Average wage: $5.25 per hour, no
benefits.


Off the Kuff
keeps tabs on jail conditions in Harris County.

Politico says what nobody else dares to say about the frazzled Democratic coaltition. (I read a couple of Demo lists where and Politico is evaded, invisible.)

Texas Ed Equity picks up a San Antonio Express-News report that a parents‘ revolution is brewing over the education scandal. Hint: keep your eye on Carolyn Boyle.

The Red State again, from SAE-N, links the story about Texas ranking first (or last, depending which end is up) in uninsured children.

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