Protesters call on Gov. Abbott to stop execution of Arthur Brown
HOUSTON, Texas - Protesters are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to stop the execution of Arthur Brown. He is scheduled to be executed Thursday, March 9.
Brown has been on death row for 30 years, convicted of the 1992 murders of four people in Houston. In the case, Brown and two other men went into a drug house and bound and shot six people. Two survived.
The group Death Penalty Action is pushing for more time for more evidence to be heard.
"I don't think we should be executing anybody regardless of guilt, innocence, mental illness, fully competent," Alli Sullivan, a friend of Brown, said.
Protesters claim Brown is innocent, and the courts aren't hearing new evidence.
"Prosecutors are supposed to hand over evidence that could help the defendant, they have to hand it over, so they can use it in the defense, and they didn't. There's DNA to be tested, and there are eyewitnesses that saw other people committing the crime," Abraham Bonowitz, executive director of Death Penalty Action, said.
The group tried to deliver a petition to the governor's office asking him to stop the execution, but they weren't able to get in.
Sullivan says she's been friends with Brown for eight to nine months and knows a different side of him than previously portrayed.
"I didn't think somebody who cared so deeply about other people's well-being would be capable of committing such a heinous murder," she said.
She says he recently sent her a note.
"He said ‘no matter what, I hope the efforts of the attorneys put a stop to this latest attempt to eradicate my person,'" she said.
Brown has maintained his innocence.
"None of us want to be the innocent person executed," Bonowitz said. "It's not for me to determine if he's innocent, but I think the evidence has to be looked at."
Sullivan is also calling on Gov. Abbott to go to death row and meet the inmates.
"After you get to know them, and hopefully get to befriend them, then go to the execution chamber and stand by their side as they're killed, because I can guarantee you if you do that, he will never execute another person ever," she said.
Gov. Abbott's office has not responded to our request for comment.