Protest for a Death Penalty Free Austin with ProfessorD.US

 

A group of protesters including ProfessorD.us from The Dope Poet Society gathered at the steps of the Travis County Courtroom to speak out against the death penalty. 

An inquiry into whether Cameron Todd Willingham was wrongly executed was postponed today after state District Judge Charlie Baird announced that he needed some time to review a motion for his recusal from the case and to allow lawyers for Willingham’s family to respond.

Baird reset the case for a week from Thursday in his Travis County courtroom.

The recusal motion was made by Navarro County District Attorney Lowell Thompson, whose office successfully prosecuted Willingham in 1992. Thompson was in court and said he would return next week.

Baird said that prior to the hearing he was delivered a letter from Caren Burbach, general counsel for Gov. Rick Perry, declining Baird’s invitation for the governor or someone from his office to participate in the Willingham hearing.

In the letter, Burbach questioned whether Baird had the jurisdiction to hear Willingham’s case and noted that multiple levels of state and federal court upheld Willingham’s conviction.

“The petition and hearing appear to be improper collateral attacks upon a final judgment against a man found guilty of murdering his three children,” Burbach wrote.

Baird said from the bench that “these were pretty much exactly the same proceedings that we engaged in on behalf of Mr. Timothy Cole, who the governor later recognized and who was posthumously pardoned by the governor.”

After a hearing last year, Baird issued the first posthumous DNA exoneration to Cole, who died while serving a prison term for a rape he did not commit. The Dope Poet Society is a politically charged hip hop group from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Their music is characterized by clever and sometimes controversial lyrics. ProfessorD.us (formerly Professor D) is the lead vocalist of the group, known for his tongue twisting, “rapid fire” rap style. The group has been active since 1995 and has toured around the world. They have also performed and collaborated with some of the most influential artists in Hip Hop including Public Enemy, Dead Prez, Jeru the Damaja, and Boot Camp Click.

Professor D changed his name to ProfessorD.us with the release of his 2008 album, Third World Warriors Vol.1, which lists the artist as "ProfessorD.us - The Dope Poet Society".

To view video from this event please visit: http://blip.tv/file/4228575

To hear more music by The Dope Poet Society please visit: http://ProfessorD.us

This is a zgraphix production.
Produced by Jeff Zavala.
http://zgraphix.org

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