Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kenneth Foster spared from execution

Well, will wonders never cease?

Texas Governor Rick Perry has commuted the death sentence of Kenneth Foster, whose impending execution had drawn condemnation from pretty much everybody in the civilized world. And by "pretty much everybody," I mean everybody except the ironically-named pro-life segment of our populace.

Foster drove the getaway car during a 1996 robber that resulted in a fatal shooting. Even the killer insisted that Foster had no involvement in the killing.

Foster was convicted of murder and sentence to death under Texas' law of parties, which makes non-triggermen equally accountable for a crime. Another condemned man was executed under the same statute earlier this year.

"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 Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles had voted 6-1 earlier Thursday to recommend Perry commute the sentence. Perry didn't have to accept the highly unusual recommendation from the board, whose members the governor appoints.
Texas has executed 401 people since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s. More than 150 of them died during the tenure of one Gov. George W. Bush. Was any of them innocent? It is impossible to know. In this case, however, Texas can at least say that it refused to execute a man that everybody knows did not kill anybody.


LeftLeaningLady said...

What is this world coming to when Texas uses some sense and stops an execution? I may swoon!

Thank you for some good news!