EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 51/82/95
EXTRA 73/95 Death penalty 16 June 1995
USA (Texas) Karl Hammond
Karl Hammond, black, is scheduled to be executed in Texas on 21 June 1995.
He was sentenced to death for the murder of Donna Lynn Vetter in September
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases as a violation
of the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel or degrading
punishment, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Amnesty International is deeply concerned at the number of executions being
carried out in the USA in general, and in Texas in particular. Of the 284
executions carried out in the USA since the death penalty was resumed in the
mid 1970s, 95 have been carried out in Texas. The method of execution is lethal
In Texas the governor may commute a sentence of death only if he receives a
favourable recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Board
consistently refuses to hold full clemency hearings in death penalty cases,
and apart from a number of commutations granted in the 1980s as the result
of two key court rulings, the Board has never recommended clemency in any death
penalty case in recent years.
As of 30 April 1995 there were 398 prisoners under sentence of death in Texas.
The most recent person to be executed in Texas was Ronald Allridge, on 8 June
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please telephone or send telegrams, faxes in English if
- expressing deep concern that Karl Hammond is scheduled to be executed in
- urging the Board to recommend that Governor Bush grant clemency to Karl
- expressing concern and sympathy for the families and friends of the victims
of violent crime;
- expressing opposition to the death penalty in all cases.
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
Executive Clemency Unit
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Pardons and Paroles Division
PO Box 13401
Austin, TX 78711, USA
Faxes: + 1 512 467 0945
Telephone: +1 512 406 5852
Telegrams: Pardons and Paroles Board, Austin, Texas
Salutation: Dear Board Members