Urgent: Stop the execution of Kenneth Foster
Dear Harry, Liz, Cindy, ALL MSRB Staff and CASF Members
Perry spares inmate set to die today
Victory rally at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin, — 5:00 pm
Thank you very much to the more than 5,000 people who wrote Governor Perry, the Board of Pardons and Paroles and every member of the Texas Legislature. Thank you to the many members of the Foster family, lawyers and activists around the world in the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign who have worked on this case and saved Kenneth’s life. You have made a difference! You have made history! Extra thank you to the Campaign to End the Death Penalty in Austin who worked very hard for Kenneth.
By MICHAEL GRACZYKAssociated Press
HUNTSVILLE – Gov. Rick Perry accepted a recommendation from the state parole board and said today he would spare condemned prisoner Kenneth Foster from execution and commute his sentence to life.
Foster had been scheduled to die tonight.
“After carefully considering the facts of this case, along with the recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I believe the right and just decision is to commute Foster’s sentence from the death penalty to life imprisonment,” Perry said in a statement.
“I am concerned about Texas law that allowed capital murder defendants to be tried simultaneously and it is an issue I think the Legislature should examine.”
The seven-member parole board had voted 6-1 to recommend the commutation.
Perry did not have to accept the highly unusual recommendation from the board whose members he appoints.
Foster was the getaway driver and not the actual shooter in the slaying of a 25-year-old man in San Antonio 11 years ago.
Foster acknowledged he and his friends were up to no good as he drove them around San Antonio in a rental car and robbed at least four people 11 years ago before the slaying of Michael LaHood Jr.
“It was wrong,” Foster, 30, said recently from death row. “I don’t want to downplay that. I was wrong for that. I was too much of a follower. I’m straight up about that.”
Another execution, the first of five scheduled for September in Texas, is set for next week when South Carolina native Tony Roach faces injection Wednesday for the strangling of an Amarillo woman, Ronnie Dawn Hewitt, 37, during a burglary of her apartment nine years ago.
13 Texas legislators wrote clemency letters.The Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote an editorial today in which they mention the letters by Rep Harold Dutton and other state reps urging clemency for Kenneth Foster. The editorial says Perry should listen to Texans, and now he has.
If your representative is Harold Dutton, Jessica Farrar, Elliot Naishtat , Mike Villareal, Terri Hodge, Sylvester Turner, Donna Howard, Alma Allen, Eddie Rodriguez, Helen Giddings, Ruth Jones McClendon, Dora Olivo, or Lon Burnam, you should call them and say thank you. They helped when we needed them.
You can also send an email to Governor Perry, saying THANK YOU!
Donate to To Help Us Stop Executions in Texas
Kenneth Foster will live now, but the fight goes on. There are five executions in Texas in September. Please consider making a donation to help us stop all executions in Texas.
You can donate online through PayPal.
Or on our secure website donation page through Democracy in Action
Or you can send a check to:
Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731
Thank you for your support!
There are five executions scheduled in Texas in September, so we will have our hands busy protesting.
In October, don’t forget about the 8th Annual March to Stop Executions, which is being held in Houston for the first time this year. The March to Stop Executions, has been held each October since 2000 in cooperation with several Texas and national anti-death penalty organizations, including Texas Moratorium Network, the Austin chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Regular organizing meetings are held in Houston’s Third Ward at SHAPE Community Center, 3815 Live Oak
Contact Njeri Shakur at 713-237-0713 to get involved or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EJUSA Chooses Texas for Special Anti-Death Penalty Retreat in TexasAs many of you know, a group of Texas organizations working against the death penalty recently put together a team to apply for a retreat sponsored by Equal Justice USA in order to strategize about a way forward to stop executions in Texas. Thank you to those people who wrote EJUSA on our behalf. We received some good news from EJUSA. An excerpt from their email follows:
Dear friends in Texas,
After looking through the application from Texas and seeing your unique situation, EJUSA wants to give you all some special attention and offer your team a different opportunity than this year’s Training and Strategy retreat. We’d like to tailor a special strategy, skill-building, and planning meeting/retreat specifically for the movement in Texas. This will allow more people than just the five of you to be involved and will also give us the opportunity to adapt an agenda specifically for your needs.
We hope that this will be ‘more bang for your buck’ so to speak and will really allow us all to make progress in building both capacity and support in Texas.
I’m really looking forward to working with you all and learning more about the movement and possibilities in Texas!
on behalf of the entire EJUSA staff,
Texas Moratorium Network