Remembering Caitlin

Caitlin with Rodney Reed's mother, Sandra
By: Marlene Martin

We lost our wonderful friend and fighter Caitlin Adams on June 24, 2013, after her long struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Caitlin met the Campaign to End the Death Penalty three years ago and quickly took on, with great zeal, the fight to free Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed. She was already suffering the debilitating effects of the disease that made it difficult for her to walk and talk, yet she nonetheless visited Rodney regularly, and wrote and advocated on his behalf in countless ways.

As anyone who met her knows, Caitlin was a warm, outgoing and incredibly caring person, but she wasn’t soft. I remember her telling me to read the 700-page book “Texas Tough” by Robert Perkinson, which she said taught her a lot about the criminal justice system historically, with its focus on Texas. Caitlin embodied “Texas Tough” in the best way in how she pushed on, despite the weakness and pain caused by her illness.

Caitlin read all of the transcripts on Rodney’s case and studied how the death penalty worked. She dedicated the last years of her life to try to win justice for Rodney. She wrote a blog about her visits with him that are touching and insightful—you can find her “Tales from Death Row” at I hope you will go and read it and pass it along.

It’s hard to think of going to the Texas Abolition march this year and not seeing Caitlin, rolling along in her wheelchair, with a smile as wide as the ocean.  If she were here, I know she would want us to do all we could to help free Rodney Reed and to continue the struggle to end the death penalty once and for all—so, let’s go ahead and do that for Caitlin.