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CNN: Head Juror Requests TX Gov. Stay Ivan Cantu’s Execution Tomorrow

CNN: Jury Foreman Speaks Out: “I helped put Ivan Cantu on death row. Now I feel like I was fooled.”

Jake Tapper Interviews Martin Sheen & Sister Helen Prejean on Their Fight to Delay Cantu’s Execution Wednesday

View the Jake Tapper segment HERE
View the Abby Phillip segment HERE

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With 24 hours until Ivan Cantu’s scheduled execution by the state of Texas, CNN interviewed Jeff Calhoun, the lead juror in Cantu’s trial, who published an op-ed In Monday’s Austin American-Statesman asking Governor Greg Abbott to issue a stay. The governor has the sole authority to issue a one-time 30-day stay for Cantu after the Texas Parole Board declined to recommend clemency or a reprieve from execution yesterday afternoon.  

On NewsNight With Abby Phillip,” Calhoun shared, “The reason I say I’ve been fooled is because [of] what you just showed earlier. One of the key witnesses admittedly lied, and when something like that happens and something of this magnitude … in a situation where this may be one of the most important decisions I will have ever made.

“And that’s why it led me to go ahead and carry out and be a voice in this situation, because I don’t feel like we got a complete trial presented to us now that I look back on the new evidence.“I fully support Governor Greg Abbott …. I admire the man. But I think that, you know, my voice, hopefully coming from one of his supporters, perhaps will be heard, and maybe he’ll, he’ll have an opportunity to see and hear what I have to say.

“I’m not jumping to any conclusions here. I really don’t see any issue with postponing an execution to look through this … new evidence.”

Also last night on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” Calhoun’s op-ed was featured in a segment highlighting the latest updates to the case ahead of Tapper’s interview with Sister Helen Prejean and Martin Sheen. The longtime anti-death penalty advocates similarly called on Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to issue a stay ahead of Ivan Cantu’s scheduled execution on February 28.

In 2001, Jeff Calhoun and his fellow jurors voted unanimously to convict Cantu of a double homicide, which led to Cantu’s death penalty sentence. However, concerns over both the prosecution’s and defense’s handling of Cantu’s original trial have led to three jurors from the original case requesting a delay in Cantu’s execution so the new evidence can be admitted. According to a legal filing made before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, there is more new evidence showing that the state’s star witness falsely testified and that the lead detective knew she was lying.

On Monday, Prejean and Sheen called on Governor Greg Abbott to issue a stay on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Friday, CNN and The Young Turks ran in-depth segments, including CNN interviewing Ivan himself. Last week, The Dallas Morning News published opinion pieces by its editorial board, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, and Representative Joaquin Castro in support of Cantu’s case being reopened.

On Thursday, anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean, Cantu’s 2001 trial jury foreman Jeffrey Calhoun, along with Cantu’s legal counsel, family, and friends delivered remarks and a petition with nearly 150,000 signatures to Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, demanding that they delay his execution. Kim Kardashian and Richard Branson also joined Prejean and Sheen in making the case that Cantu’s execution must be delayed. 

For additional media inquiries & interview requests, please contact press@moveon.org.



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