Since July 19, 1992, more that 50 condemned prisoners on Texas's death row commenced a chain hunger strike. They are fasting in pairs for three days at a time, consuming only liquids, when the strike is taken over by another pair. The prisoners state in part:
"We have initiated this action to protest and dramatize the discriminatory application of the death penalty to minorities and to workers and the poor and because of the ongoing use of unethical and corrupt law enforcement and prosecutorial tactics prevalent in an overwhelming and alarming number of capital cases in the U.S. and because of the demoralizing confinement and treatment of condemned prisoners.
"We assert, that no matter what reason the government gives for killing prisoners in its custody, and no matter what method of execution is used, the application of the death penalty upon us, the condemned, is a heinous violation of our human rights, and that state sanctioned executions have become, like piracy and slave trading from the days of old, an enemy of all humanity."
The prisoners demand a moratorium on all executions and that the death penalty be declared unconstitutional because of the inherent injustices due to its racial, economic and discriminatory nature.
Letters, telegrams, etc. protesting the death penalty and support for the hunger striking prisoners on death row can be sent to: Ann Richards, Governor of the State of Texas, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, TX 78711. Phone: (512) 463-2000. More information on the strike can be obtained from: The Endeavor Project, P.O. Box 23511, Houston, TX 77228-3511.
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