Death Penalty Opponents Hold Rally On Saturday

Some Texas death penalty opponents say flawed system cannot be fixed

Nancy Balderas
From left to right: Gloria Rubac with the Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Nancy Balderas’ husband Juan is on death row.

Nancy Balderas’ husband Juan has been on death row for 7 months. She says he did not get adequate representation at his murder trial.

“Before even the trial started, the defense that is supposed to defend the defendant stated that they did not have any defense strategy nor plan to defend my husband. The defense seemed disinterested with no motivation,” said Balderas.

Those in favor of capital punishment argue that it’s only fair for someone who I took a life to pay their debt to society with their own life.

They also argue that it acts as a deterrent and helps prevent crime.

The Death Penalty Abolition Movement disagrees. The group is staging a march and rally Saturday afternoon near Tranquility Park in downtown Houston.

Member Gloria Rubac says when it comes to fairness and accuracy in the death penalty system, Texas appears out of step with better practices that are in place in other states. Yet it leads the nation in the number of executions carried out.

“There is no jurisdiction in the United States that has more executions than Harris County. And out of the 12 hundred or so that have taken place in what’s called the ‘modern era’, 517 of them are right here in the state of Texas,” said Rubac.  

A report by the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Review Project concluded t he Texas system undermines public confidence.