Odell Barnes Jr.

L'association Lutte Pour la Justice (LPJ) a été créée en 1999 pour soutenir Odell Barnes Jr., jeune afro-américain condamné à mort en 1991 à Huntsville (Texas) pour un crime qu'il n'avait pas commis et exécuté le 1er mars 2000 à l'aube de ses 32 ans. En sa mémoire et à sa demande, l'association se consacre à la lutte pour l'abolition de la peine de mort aux Etats-Unis et en particulier au Texas. (voir article "Livre "La machine à tuer" de Colette Berthès en libre accès" ) : https://www.lagbd.org/images/5/50/MATlivre.pdf

samedi 17 décembre 2022

a special year-end donation to TCADP in remembrance of Rev. Pickett



Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty



Earlier this year, we mourned the passing of our dear friend, Rev. Carroll (“Bud”) Pickett. As the chaplain at the “Walls” Unit in Huntsville, Rev. Pickett bore witness to the resumption of executions in Texasand the nation’s first lethal injectionon December 7, 1982. He went on to provide spiritual comfort to 95 men in the hours before they were put to death by the State and wrote a book about his experiences, Within These Walls. Those experiences were featured in an extraordinary documentary film, “At the Death House Door,” which also tells the story of Carlos DeLuna.

Rev. Pickett was the first person I knew who spoke candidly about the impact that witnessing or carrying out executions has on the individuals involved. There’s a particularly heartrending scene in “At the Death House Door” in which he visits one of the corrections officers who was part of the “strapdown team” for 120 executions at the Walls Unit. It is clear this man was haunted by the experience of taking life at the behest of the State.

These firsthand perspectives were echoed in a recent story that aired on NPR last month, “Carrying out executions took a secret toll on workers — then changed their politics.” Journalist Chiara Eisner discovered that many individuals who have been involved intimately with executions have endured mental and psychological disturbances, including PTSD, as a result. 

Rev. Pickett stood at the foot of the gurney as the State of Texas put Charlie Brooks to death forty years ago today. He wrote that in the immediate aftermath of the execution, “All that remained was an air of stunned silence – testimony to the fact that none of those who had witnessed penal history being made had really been prepared for what they had seen.”

Rev. Pickett did not stay silent, however. After leaving the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, he became an outspoken opponent of the death penalty and shared his story with audiences throughout the country, as well as with Texas lawmakers.

You have not been silent, either. This year, you have used your voice to oppose executions and shed light on the humanity of those condemned by an arbitrary and unfair system.

Today, on this solemn anniversary, I’m asking you to make a special year-end donation to TCADP in remembrance of Rev. Pickett and all those impacted directly by the trauma of the death penalty. Together, we will honor his witness and his legacy as we work to end the death penalty in Texas.

Towards justice,

Kristin Houlé Cuellar
TCADP Executive Director

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