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         Calvin Burdine
         Death Sentence Overturned in Texas !
                   His lawyer slept  through parts of his trial !
    
If the defendant is gay, sexuality can be used as
an aggravating factor with fatal consequences....

             "sending a homosexual to the penitentiary certainly
                isn't a very bad punishment for a homosexual."
                                        -  From the prosecutor's closing arguments

In Burdine's case, the jurors were urged to order his execution by a prosecutor who told
them that sending a gay man to prison would be like setting a kid loose in a candy store.
                                                                        (See news articles below)

     Calvin will now get a NEW trial !
       DEATH PENALTY AND HOMOPHOBIA - From the Village Voice.
           Queer on Death Row - In Murder Cases, Being Gay Can Seal a Defendant's Fate 
                    News About Calvin Burdine
FOR CONTRIBUTIONS/DONATIONS TO HIS DEFENSE FUND:  IN US FUNDS ONLY PLEASE: CHECK OR US MONEY ORDER:
                                         PRINT AND SEND
     Calvin Burdine - Texas Death Row Inmate Who Had a Sleeping Laywer
                               ANOTHER WEBPAGE WITH COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION ON HIS CASE
  * * *  DEFENSE FUND   * * *   DEFENSE FUND  * * *

Folks, please take just a few moments here and listen to the heart felt cries from Calvin's parents,
Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Burdine, who are reaching out to you, his family and friends...Unless something happens soon, Calvin could be re-tried, convicted once again, and ultimately be executed for a crime that has already been proven he did not commit.

Please read and help us if at all possible.

For what is the greater risk :

That a guilty man spending years on Death Row should be spared, or, that an innocent man should be executed be the state of Texas?

It presents no challenge to the moral compass to figure that one out.

FOR CONTRIBUTIONS/DONATIONS TO HIS DEFENSE FUND:  IN US FUNDS ONLY PLEASE: CHECK OR US MONEY ORDER:
                                      PRINT AND SEND

                          BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE FACTS

Calvin went to trial for Capital Murder on January 23rd, 1984.

January 27th, 1984...State put on Penalty phase testimony and then rested after just 35 minutes.

Calvin's defense attorney, Joe Frank Cannon, offered no evidence in Calvin's behalf and then rested.

Calvin's attorney argued for just 29 minutes in an effort to avoid the death penalty.

After approximately 2 1/2 hours of delibrerations, the jury reached a verdict that caused the trial court to assess the maximum punishment.

VIZ: Death By Lethal Injection

Judge Joseph Guarino, 183rd District Court, appointed Joe Frank Cannon to represent Calvin during his trial and also on direct appeal.

October 15th, 1986 ... The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Affirmed the conviction,

March 23rd, 1987... Filed his writ of Certiorari

May 04, 1987...Filed his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, cause number: 379444-A, in State District Court.

September 12-14, 1993...Evidentiary Hearing held in State District Court/Houston.

June 29th, 1994...Habeas Corpus relief denied.

February 3rd, 1995...Writ Evidentiary Hearing was again held in Cause Number 379444-B, in State District Court, on Calvin's claim that defense counsel, Joe Frank Cannon, slept during major portions of his trial, which caused defense counsel, ineffective.

This Court finds that Applicant's claim that Calvin's counsel was ineffective at sentencing as well as during the trial itself, has been essentially raised and rejected in his prior petition for writ of habeas corpus, cause number 379444-A.

This Court finds that Calvin's contention speculative that at least (2) two jurors would have voted differently during the punishment phase of Calvin's trial, if, defense counsel, Joe Frank Cannon, had of presented evidence during the trial and during the punishment hearing.

April 04, 1995...Regarding Calvin's claim that defense counsel, Joe Frank Cannon, repeatedly dozed and
actually slept during his trial on the merits, this Court finds and concludes, that Calvin has demonstrated that his conviction was unlawfully obtained.

Accordingly, it is recommended to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that relief should be granted in this case. 



Following is the actual affidavit of Daniel Strickland, Jury Foreman

I, Daniel Strickland, state the following is true and correct.
My name is Daniel Strickland, I currently reside in Travis
County, Texas.  I am over the age of 18 and am otherwise
competent to make this affidavit.  All facts, stated herein,
are of my own personal knowledge.
In January, 1984, I served as the Jury Foreman of the Harris
County Jury that heard the Capital Murder case that was presented
against Calvin Jerold Burdine.
During the trial and punishment sentencing more than one
other member of the jury and I commented on defense counsel's
sleeping all through the trial and sentencing hearing.
At the close of the state's case against Mr. Burdine, during the
guilt-innocence phase of the trial --, that is before the defense
presented any of its evidence, (which turned out to be none at all)
I had a reasonable doubt about Mr. Burdine's guilt on the capital
murder charge.
In particular, I did not believe any of the testimony of the police
officer who testified that Mr. Burdine has actually "confessed"
to the capital murder.
Up to this point, the State's case was insufficient to convince me
beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Burdine had committed a
capital murder, as was charged by the state.
It was only after Defense Counsel refused to put on any mitigating
evidence, that I then began to have serious doubts as to Mr. Burdine's
guilt or innocence.
It was only after Joe Frank Cannon, defense counsel, appointed by the
court, made the requirement of Calvin, to stand before the jury, during
punishment, and decline to plead for his life, is probably beyond any
understanding we could all have.  It was as though defense counsel
was deliberately attempting to hide something from us.  It was like a
slap in the face to us really.

If Defense counsel, Joe Frank Cannon,would have put on any mitigating evidence at all, in all probability, the outcome of this case would have been totally different.  This simply would not have been a death penalty case.



Folks, Cannon's very own testimony at Calvin's evidentiary hearing reveals that he did absolutely nothing to prepare for Calvin's sentencing hearing before that jury.

*  A postscript to Mr Strickland's affidavit and testimony :

"We found that Calvin Jerold Burdine was not the actual triggerman
in the death of Mr W. T. Wise.  We fou d him guilty under the Texas
Parties Act, under this law, in the State of Texas, he was found just as
guilty because he didn't stop or prevent this murder from happening.
Thats the law here in Texas!"

Because trial counsel's performance at penalty was a mere sham, amounting to the functional equivalent of absolutely no counsel or representation for his life, the outcome of the sentencing proceeding of the trial was rendered presumptively un-reliable.

Accordingly, this court recommends that Calvin J. Burdine's death sentence be vacated.

***   ***  ***
DATES WITH THE EXECUTIONER

October 15th, 1986... 1st Date...Stayed
August 04th, 1987...2nd Date...Stayed
October 07th, 1987...3rd Date...Stayed
(Mock execution procedure)
January 17th, 1995...4th Date...Stayed
February 28th, 1995..5th Date...Stayed
April 03rd, 1995...6th Date...Stayed

In April of 1995, the Court of Criminal Appeals sent Calvin's entire case to the Federal Courts in Houston, Texas, stating that relief should be granted and a new trial ordered.  This came about in September / 1999, in the following order of the court.

Based on the foregoing, this federal court hereby :

Orders that Burdine's petition for writ of habeas corpus is granted and hus state conviction below is vacated.
Accordingly, it is ordered that the state of Texas shall either retry or release Burdine within 120 days of the date of the entry of this order.

Signed at Houston, Texas on this 29th day of September, 1999.



        WITH THESE NEW REPUBLICAN LAWS, WHAT IS NEXT ?

In summary folks, Calvin, as any other Death Row prisoner in the United States of America, would be dead today if it had not been by the federal court's intervention.   However, the anti-terrorism bill that was passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton, now limits the role federal judges play in the appeals of condemned men and women who find no meaningful relief, legal representation, or concern, for their rights in state courts.

So, every Death Row prisoner, in the USA, is as good as dead, unless, they get effective and expensive legal representation.

The State puts you on death row because it wants to kill you, and the people who put you there, judges and prosecutors, face elections and / or political pressure from "higher ups" to deliver, i.d a conviction, and an execution to show society that justice has been made.

If in the process, the innocent get executed, hey, its not a perfect system.  And:

Justice is blind, aint' she?

Folks, in summary, they stopped all funding for the Texas Resource  Center, so that too became a casualty of the craze to execute.  Now, all prisoners are fair game in the political scramble to build careers on the blood of others.

Who will speak out for them, the faceless, voicelss, ones without charming personalities, or even education?

Who will call attention to their plight ?
And will help them wage their legal battles ?  Who will bring them hope?
Who will offer them friendship in their prison hell?

Now, save for a handful of men, or women, Death Row prisoners across the US, never find the one person who will make or can make, a dramatic difference in their lives.  Most will die faceless, voicelss, unsupported and remembered only by the statistic of their names in some list of people already executed.

Friends, today is the day that Calvin really and truly needs your help and assistance financially.  For now that a decision has been rendered, it was ordered that he would get a brand new trial...Why does he need your help and assistance so badly ?  Because if he is retried, and he can't afford to hire anything better than a Frank Joe Cannon, to represent him, to lay out the facts and render him as the innocent individual that he really is, Calvin stands to recieve the death penalty all over again and will subsequently be executed.   He desperately needs your help.

For questions regarding Calvin or his case, and present status, please write to him directly at the address below :

CALVIN J BURDINE  000758
Polunsky Unit  12/CD/47
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston Texas
77351-9630



                        CALVIN JEROLD BURDINE'S PEN-PAL REQUEST

Birthdate March 28th, 1953.  Age 47.  Hi!  I am a white male, 47 years old, incarcerated on Death Row here in Texas.  Looking for friendship and penpals to correspond with anywhere in the world.  Honesty and sincerity a must.  Not into playing games.  Any age or race ok.  Will answer any and all that respond to this request.  Thank you.
                                                    
                                        Calvin Jerold Burdine
                                             000758 12-CD-47
                                          Polunsky Unit (DR)
                                            3872 FM 350 South
                                            Livingston, Texas
                                             77351-9630  USA
 
       DEATH PENALTY AND HOMOPHOBIA - From the Village Voice. 
           Queer on Death Row - In Murder Cases, Being Gay Can Seal a Defendant's Fate 
                    News About Calvin Burdine
FOR CONTRIBUTIONS/DONATIONS TO HIS DEFENSE FUND:  IN US FUNDS ONLY PLEASE: CHECK OR US MONEY ORDER:
                                         PRINT AND SEND
     Calvin Burdine - Texas Death Row Inmate Who Had a Sleeping Laywer
                               ANOTHER WEBPAGE WITH COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION ON HIS CASE

                   The CCADP offers free webpages to over 500 Death Row Prisoners
                                             Contact us for more information.
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This page was last updated October 12, 2002            Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty
This page is maintained and updated by Dave Parkinson and Tracy Lamourie in Toronto, Canada