Friday, December 30, 2005

A big shout-out to Alberta Phillips!

Recently there have been a small but growing number of mainstream newspaper columnists in Texas who have been writing about problems with the death penalty. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News each have columnists who have been at the forefront of this trend (not as much the Dallas Morning News, although they have made progress.)

One must include in this courageous group my alma mater, the Austin American-Statesman and, in particular, Alberta Phillips, a principled and courageous columnist. Recently this letter to the editor in the American-Statesman mentioned Alberta's work:

We must fix injustices

Thank you to columnists Alberta Phillips (Dec. 14, "His name is Ruben M. Cantu, he was framed, and we killed him") and Leonard Pitts (Dec. 4, "DidTexas kill an innocent in our name?") for keeping the possible wrongful execution of Ruben Cantu front and center.

When the system is so broken, all of us, regardless of our views on the
death penalty, should demand change. While we go about our business these holidays, the victims of the 1984 crime, now possibly also including Cantu, have no such option. All of us deserve better from our justice system.


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