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Armband Alert: 08/22/12, Balentine, TX

August 21, 2012

Please wear a black wrist band tomorrow in silent protest of the execution of John Balentine, who is scheduled to be poisoned tomorrow by the government of the state of Texas for the 1998 murders of Mark Edward Caylor Jr., Steven Brady Watson and Kai Brooke Geyer.  All were acquaintances of his; Mr. Balentine contends he was pre-emptively defending himself and his sister from death threats issued by the three victims.

Regardless of facts in Mr. Balentine’s case, procedural guarantees provided in our country’s Constitution have not yet been provided to him.  Although Texas regularly flouts federal law and universal human rights while it kills more inmates than any other state, there is no basis for the state to go forward with the execution of John Balentine.  He received constitutionally inadequate legal representation during his trials of fact and sentencing, yet Texas bars consideration of this critical issue now because certain state deadlines have passed!  Further, there is no physical evidence implicating Mr. Balentine in the crime, and his confession, which he provided only because he thought his girlfriend had done the crime,  differs materially from what evidence there is in the case.  If Texas goes forward with this execution tomorrow, it will once again disrespect national laws and human rights.

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