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USA: Ivan Cantu’s Execution Looms Amid Fair Trial Concerns

Ivan Cantu, 50, faces execution in Texas on February 28, 2024, for a double murder in November 2000. His 2001 conviction is now under scrutiny. A new investigation questions his trial’s fairness, highlighting doubts about key witness testimony and physical evidence. International rules say the death penalty should only be used when evidence is undeniable.

Here’s what you can do:

Write to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles urging them to recommend to Governor Abbott that he commute Ivan Cantu’s death sentence.    

Write to:

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

P.O. Box 13401


Texas 78711-3401


Email: bpp_pio@tdcj.texas.gov

Salutation: Dear Board Member,

Concerns over Ivan Cantu’s trial

In October 2001, Ivan Cantu was sentenced to death for the murders of his cousin JM and JM’s fiancée AK in North Dallas, Texas, in November 2000. His conviction relied heavily on the testimony of his then-fiancée, AB, supported by physical evidence. The jury was told her testimony alone was enough to convict him, and the TCCA upheld this in 2004.

During the trial, a detective mentioned an anonymous tip suggesting JM owed money to a drug dealer. However, the focus quickly shifted to Cantu. His defense team, lacking resources, didn’t challenge the prosecution’s evidence effectively. For his habeas corpus review, Cantu was assigned a lawyer who barely engaged with him, filing an appeal that didn’t question his conviction.

AB claimed Cantu returned home with blood-stained clothes on the night of the murder and implicated him further after his arrest. However, recent investigations have cast doubt on her testimony and the physical evidence, including discrepancies in the size of clothing and the timing of the murders.

International Standards and Safeguards

The case raises significant concerns under international standards, which demand clear and convincing evidence for death penalty cases to avoid wrongful convictions. With Texas leading in executions since 1976, the need for rigorous legal assistance in capital cases is critical.

Amnesty International stands against the death penalty, advocating for justice and adherence to international safeguards to prevent wrongful convictions.

Please take action until February 28, 2024!