FRANCES NEWTON: 1965-2005
in Peace at last.

Into Paradise May the Angels Lead You.......









By Gloria Rubac
Houston


There are times when I am truly angered, embarrassed, sickened and left feeling numb by the actions of my country. The execution of Frances Newton brings all of these and many more emotions that stun me to the very core of my being.
Published Sep 15, 2005 1:47 AM
Sept. 14-The State of Texas has carried out the horrific execution of Frances Newton, totally ignoring the national and international campaign to save her life. Responsibility for this modern-day lynching also rests with the Supreme Court, which turned down her appeal for a new trial.



Frances Newton
Sept. 13—A state founded on land stolen from the people of Mexico, and one that condoned the enslavement of African people, is hours from committing another racist crime: the legal lynching of Frances Newton.

Despite having an infamously incompetent attorney appointed to “defend” her, and despite having the discredited Houston Police Crime Lab analyze the evidence in the case, and despite an admission on camera by Harris County Assistant District Attorney Roe Wilson that another gun had been found at the crime scene—something denied by the DA and the cops for 18 years—Frances Elaine Newton may become the first Black woman legally executed in Texas since an enslaved African woman named Lucy was hung in Galveston in 1853.

Ever since Newton found her husband and two children murdered in their home on April 7, 1987, she has ada mantly proclaimed her innocence.

Newton’s attorney was Ron Mock, who became notorious for not putting up any defense at all. When Mock was Shaka Sankofa’s attorney, he actually slept during part of the trial, making it easier for the state to execute this young African American on June 22, 2000.

Today, U.S. Congressperson Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas) held a media conference here asking Texas Gov. Rick Perry to stop Newton’s execution.

Even the Austin American Statesman, the daily paper in the Texas capital, today editorialized, “We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Race, ethnicity, income and geography are all factors in the imposition of death sentences. As long as Texas has a death penalty, capital defendants should have access to competent legal counsel. Newton didn’t get that. For that reason, she should be spared.”

In the week leading up to Newton’s scheduled execution, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark joined Michael Greco, president of the American Bar Associ ation; entertainer and activist Dick Gregory; and Amnesty International in asking that Newton be given a stay and a review of new evidence.

On Sept. 12, the Committee to Free Frances Newton joined with anti-war activists outside the Houston Astro dome to participate in the National Day of Outrage about the Katrina tragedy.

Hundreds of people from New Orleans passed by. Many stopped to read fliers and some joined in the protest.

Two young people who had lost everything in the hurricane, Thea Elder and Nicholas Miller, leaf leted and spoke on the microphone for three hours.

The Committee to Free Frances Newton, along with the National Black United Front, Houston Chap ter; the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense; the Uni versity of Houston NAACP; KPFT-Pacifica Radio in Houston; and many other organizations and individuals have worked around the clock for months to stop this execution.

Many new activists have been drawn into supporting Newton.

In the final hours, there are plans for civil disobedience at the governor’s office in Austin and a protest in Huntsville outside of the death house. There will be protests in every major Texas city if the execution is carried out.