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Death Penalty Protesters March Against Bush

October 16, 2000|From Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Shouting "George Bush, serial killer," hundreds of people marched around the governor's mansion on Sunday, calling on the Texas governor to issue a moratorium on the death penalty.

"People ask us, 'What should we do with serial killers?' " shouted Marlene Martin, director of the Chicago-based Campaign to End the Death Penalty. "We shouldn't put them in Washington."

Since 1982, when Texas resumed executions, 232 people have been executed, including 145 in Bush's more than 5 1/2 years in office.

Bush spokeswoman Linda Edwards said that as governor, Bush has limited authority to declare a moratorium on executions.

"In Texas, there are many checks and balances . . . to prevent an innocent person from being executed," Edwards said. "Gov. Bush took an oath to uphold the laws of Texas, including the death penalty, and he takes each and every death penalty case seriously."

Bush, the Republican presidential nominee, has said he does not feel there is a need for a moratorium in Texas.

Bush was at the governor's mansion Sunday, preparing for Tuesday's presidential debate, but Edwards would not say if he was inside when the group of about 400 protesters were circling the mansion.

Many of the protesters carried signs that called on Texas to stop executing poor people, minorities and mentally ill and mentally retarded people.

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