Stop Execution

Marta Russell ap888 at SPAMlafn.org
Wed Aug 9 14:49:13 MDT 2000






Stop Execution!

Kim Musheno, musheno at thearc.org, writes:

A man with mental retardation is scheduled to be executed in Texas tonight
at 6 p.m.  Below is The Arc's statement on the execution.  If you want to
make your own statement, the fax number for Gov. Bush is 512-463-5518.
The phone number is 512-463-5518.  To contact the media in your area,
consult The Arc's Guide to the Media in the Action Center:
http://congress.nw.dc.us/thearc/

NEWS RELEASE
Contact:
Chris Privett/Kim Musheno
301-565-5454/202-785-3388
privett at thearc.org/musheno at thearc.org

THE ARC CALLS ON GEORGE W. BUSH
TO GRANT STAY OF EXECUTION FOR TEXAS MAN

AUGUST 8, 2000, SILVER SPRING, MD - The Arc of the United States, the
nations
largest volunteer-based organization devoted to issues affecting people
with
mental retardation and developmental disabilities, is calling on Texas
Governor
George W. Bush to halt the scheduled execution of Oliver Cruz.

Cruz, 33, is scheduled to die on Wednesday, August 9, for his part in the
abduction, rape, and murder of 24-year-old Kelly Elizabeth Donovan in 1988.

Cruzs alleged partner in the crime, who does not have mental retardation,
was sentenced to 65 years in prison with the possibility for parole.

        At his trial, medical experts classified Cruz as having mental
retardation.
The Arc, in a formal Position Statement revised and adopted in 1998,
opposes the
death penalty for people with mental retardation. The Position Statement
reads:

Existing case-by-case determinations of competence to stand trial, criminal

responsibility and mitigating factors at sentencing have proved
insufficient
to protect the rights of individuals with mental retardation. The presence
of
mental retardation by definition raises so many possibilities of
miscommunication,
 misinformation, and an inadequate defense that the imposition of the death

penalty is unacceptable. People with mental retardation shall be exempt
from
the death penalty, but not from other appropriate punishment, on a
case-by-case
basis.

        President of The Arc Brenda Doss said, The Arc of the United States
urges
Governor Bush in the strongest possible terms to put a stop to this
execution so
that a more just sentence may be passed on Oliver Cruz. A jury has found
Cruz
guilty and he must repay society for his crimes, but in the case of a
defendant
with mental retardation, the death penalty is not a reasonable sentence.
Governor
Bush has pledged his compassion for people with disabilities and we are
hopeful
that he will do what is right and just in the case of Oliver Cruz.

The Arc of the United States was founded in 1950 and is the nations largest

volunteer organization solely devoted to improving the lives of people who
have mental retardation and fostering prevention of the condition.


Kim Musheno
musheno at thearc.org
http://www.thearc.org



--
Marta Russell
author
Los Angeles, CA
Beyond Ramps: Disability at the End of the Social Contract
http://www.commoncouragepress.com/russell_ramps.html







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