[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----TEXAS, FLA., N.Y., TENN.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jul 4 12:23:56 CDT 2007
Facing execution for driving a car
THE STATE of Texas plans to execute Kenneth Foster Jr. August 30 for the
1996 murder of Michael LaHood Jr.
What makes Foster's case unique is that he killed no one--and the state of
Texas is first to admit this.
How is this possible? Texas' Law of Parties, adopted in 1974, allows
prosecutors to hold all those present legally responsible for a crime.
Because Foster was driving the car carrying Mauriceo Brown the night Brown
shot LaHood, prosecutors were able to try Kenneth as if he was the
Brown, who was executed in July 2006, admitted to shooting LaHood, but
claimed it was in self-defense. He also insisted that Foster, who remained
in a car 80 feet away from the shooting with the radio on and windows
rolled up, didn't know he had left the car with the gun.
What you can do
The CEDP will hold a July 20 phone/fax blast to Gov. Rick Perrys office.
Call 800-252-9600 (Texas callers) or 512-463-1782 (Austin and out of
state), and send faxes to 512-463-1849. A rally is planned for July 21 in
For more information on Kenneth's case and the struggle of Texas death row
prisoners against executions and rotten conditions, see the Free Kenneth
Foster and DRIVE Movement Web sites.
You can also write Kenneth to voice your support: Kenneth Foster Jr.
#999232, Polunsky Unit, 3872 FM 350 South Livingston, TX 77351.
In addition to being railroaded onto death row by the Law of Parties,
Kenneth is a founding member of the Death Row Inner-Communalist Vanguard
Engagement (DRIVE), a group of brave death row inmates who organize
protests for abolition and better living conditions on Texass death row.
As Kenneth says, "We are neither violent nor passive. We are combative. We
are resisters. We are diverse activists, but more than anything else, may
we be looked upon as men who embraced the sacredness of life and sought to
assert the full measure of their humanity in the face of those that would
seek to destroy it."
Last week, Kenneth's criminal lawyer, Keith Hampton, submitted a new
appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. If the court refuses to
grant Kenneth relief, his supporters will then turn to the Board of
Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Rick Perry for clemency.
After Kenneth's execution date was announced in May, a broad coalition
called the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign was formed. The Austin and Corpus
Christi chapters of Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP), along with
Kenneth's family and lawyers, as well as other anti-death penalty groups,
have been holding weekly meetings to build a movement around this case.
The coalition held a petition and literature table at Austin's Juneteenth
festival on June 19. This annual commemoration of emancipation from
slavery provided an excellent opportunity to reach out to the community.
The coalition got over 200 signatures on the petition to the Court of
Texas is on track to perform its 400th execution since 1982 this summer.
The case of Kenneth Foster Jr.--a Black man sent to death row for driving
a car--is a testament to how rotten Texas's machinery of death truly is.
(source: Socialist Worker Online)
The Disturbing Case of Kenneth Foster----Texas Wants to Kill Another Man,
the Law be Damned
So, it's the week of the Fourth of July-the date the United States
celebrates its struggle for independence from England and its throne.
Scooter Libby, who was convicted (in the place of more serious crimes and
perpetrators) of lying to Congress about matters of state has just had his
30 month sentence commuted.
The reason for the July 4th date is because it was the date in 1776 that
the Declaration of Independence was signed. Of course, this independence
was really only for the southern white male planters and their northern
counterparts, but the seed it planted has inspired men and women around
the world to make the words of that declaration's preamble universal. Yet,
we are still quite far from that goal, even here in the United States.
Indeed, especially here in the United States. Poverty prevents millions
from achieving their right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness." Hundreds of thousands of those denied these rights end up in
prison not only lose the latter, but quite literally lose their liberty.
Of those hundreds of thousands, hundreds have lost their lives because of
the state's' insistence on their right to execute certain prisoners, most
of them black and brown-skinned.
One of these men is Kenneth Foster, a young African-American resident of
Texas who is facing execution at the end of August 2007. His case revolves
around a very controversial law known as the "law of parties." In essence,
this law imposes the death penalty on any body involved in a crime where a
murder occurred, even if the accused was not involved in the murder or
even aware that the killer intended to commit murder. If this law were
applied to Scooter Libby's case, there's a good chance that Dick Cheney
and Karl Rove would have also been convicted, even if they didn't know
that Libby was going to lie to Congress.
Kenneth is also a founding member of the Death Row Inner-Communalist
Vanguard Engagement, or DRIVE. Members of DRIVE have organized in the
worst of circumstances to protest the awful living conditions on Texas'
death row and against the death penalty in general. DRIVE is a
first-of-its-kind social movement with a growing base of support in the
U.S. and internationally. They have also created a politicized environment
on death row in which condemned inmates are refusing to walk to their
executions, forcing guards to drag them instead. More information about
DRIVE is available online at http://www.drivemovement.org
I ran into Marlene Martin of the Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty in
Chicago a couple of weeks ago and she told me about the case and gave me
the name of Bryan McCann, who is an organizer of the campaign to prevent
Foster's execution. Bryan has been a member of the Campaign to End the
Death Penalty since 2005. His writing on the Texas death penalty has
appeared in the Socialist Worker and New Abolitionist. He lives in Austin,
Texas where he is a PhD student in Communication Studies. I contacted
Bryan and we carried on the following exchange.
Hi, Bryan. I just finished reading the materials on Kenneth Foster's case
sent to me by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, along with some other
news articles that I found on line. To help out the readers, can you
answer a couple background questions. Who is Kenneth Foster? Can you
summarize the state's case against Foster?
Kenneth Foster is a native of San Antonio, Texas. He has been on death row
since 1997, sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Michael LaHood, Jr.
Kenneth did not shoot LaHood. This is not an innocence claim made solely
by his supporters. The state of Texas will be the first to admit that
Kenneth is factually innocent of murder. How is he still on death row?
Texas's Law of Parties, the only legislation of its kind in a death
penalty state, holds individuals criminally responsible for the offense of
another if the prosecution can prove they actively promoted or assisted
the commission of the offense or should have anticipated that it would
have taken place.
On August 14, 1996, Kenneth Foster was driving a car carrying Mauriceo
Brown, Dewayne Dillard, and Julius Steen. That night, Brown and Steen
committed two armed robberies, at which point Kenneth asked Dillard to
persuade them to stop. On the way home, Foster ended up behind a car
carrying Michael LaHood, Jr. and his girlfriend, Mary Patrick. Concerned
that Foster was deliberately following them, Patrick waved the car down in
front of the LaHood residence. Brown exited the car, presumably to talk to
Patrick and get her phone number. Dillard testified that no one
anticipated violence, and that Brown took the gun without permission or
knowledge of the other men. When Brown approached the woman, her boyfriend
Michael LaHood appeared in the driveway. Brown and LaHood exchanged words,
a shot was fired, and Michael LaHood lay dead. All of this transpired
while the other three men remained in the car, 80 feet away from the scene
of the crime, with the windows rolled up and radio turned on. After
hearing the gunshots, Kenneth began to drive away, but Brown managed to
get back in the car.
All of the above is well-corroborated by all four of the men on that
evening. Brown admitted to shooting LaHood but insisted it was in self
defense. However, the state tried Kenneth and Mauriceo together for
capital murder, basing Kenneth's charges on the Law of Parties. They
claimed that because two robberies had already taken place that night, he
should have anticipated that Brown might have tried to rob LaHood and
Patrick. Because he should have anticipated a robbery could have taken
place, he also should have known a murder could possibly take place. This
shaky logic, along with testimony from Steen (who later retracted part of
his testimony), was enough to sentence both Brown (who was executed in
2006) and Kenneth to death.
What kind of legal representation did he have at trial?
Like the vast majority of death row inmates, Kenneth had a court-appointed
attorney. This is largely due to the fact that the victim, Michael LaHood,
Jr.'s father was a prominent San Antonio lawyer. This fact made it
difficult for Kenneth's family to find an attorney willing to take the
case. Kenneth's lawyers failed him on many counts, not least of all
failing to interview Julius Steen during the original trial. In the
sentencing phase, they failed to mention that both Kenneth's parents were
drug addicts and his mother died of AIDS. This gave the jury little basis
for sympathy. Also, Brown's attorney referred to his client as an "animal"
and a "thug." Because the two men were tried together, this likely
prejudiced Kenneth in the eyes of the jury.
Has the case been appealed? What were the results and reasons given?
With the exception of his subsequent writ of habeas corpus, Kenneth's
appeals have been exhausted. In 2005, federal District Judge Royal
Furgeson overturned Kenneth's death sentence on the grounds that it
violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Furgeson ruled that the jury in the
original trial was not asked to determine if Kenneth harbored any intent
to kill Michael LaHood. As a result, Kenneth's case constituted a
misapplication of the Law of Parties. However, Texas appealed the decision
to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and won. Since then, Kenneth has
categorically lost all of his appeals.
What is the "law of parties?" Has it ever been on the books in other
states? I noted in the summary on the law that the Supreme Court that the
" imposition of the death penalty on a person who aids and abets a felony
in the course of which a murder is committed by others but who does not
himself kill, attempt to kill, or intend to kill violates the 8th and 14th
Amendments of the US Constitution." Can you provide the readers with a
comprehensive history of this law and its interpretation in the courts?
The Law of Parties was adopted in 1974. It states that a person is equally
responsible for the criminal conduct of another if "acting with intent to
promote or assist the commission of the offense he solicits, encourages,
directs, aids or attempts to aid the other persons to commit the offense"
or "If, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony,
another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators
are guilty of the felony actually committed, though having no intent to
commit it, if the offense was committed in furtherance of the unlawful
purpose and was one that should have been anticipated as a result of the
carrying out of the conspiracy." The U.S. Supreme Court has indeed ruled
on laws of this nature, drawing the conclusion that you cite above in the
1982 Enmund v. Florida decision. However the court has not heard any cases
from Texas related to this issue. The only other case related to policies
such as the Law of Parties is the 1987 Tison v. Arizona decision in which
the Justices upheld the death sentences of two brothers who aided their
father in a deadly prison escape. The decision stated that ""knowingly
engaging in criminal activities known to carry a grave risk of death
represents a highly culpable mental state." They added that "We will not
attempt to precisely delineate the particular types of conduct and states
of mind warranting imposition of the death penalty. ... Rather, we simply
hold that major participation in the felony ... combined with reckless
indifference to human life is sufficient to satisfy the Enmund culpability
requirement." Thus, the legal precedent on policies like the Law of
Parties remains highly ambiguous.
Obviously, you feel that this law has been wrongly applied to Kenneth
Foster. How and why?
There is very little basis for believing that Kenneth had any malicious
intent toward Michael LaHood, Jr. Yes, he was driving the car that night
and robberies took place. However, there is every reason to believe that
Kenneth had no idea LaHood's life was in danger. There was also no
conspiracy to rob him. He did not even know the gun had left the car. His
jury, moreover, was only instructed to determine if he was associated with
Brown and should have anticipated his actions. As Judge Furgeson pointed
out in 2005, these instructions are not consistent with the intent of the
Law of Parties. Kenneth is effectively facing an execution date for a
failure of hindsight. As Kenneth's criminal lawyer, Keith Hampton, wrote
in his federal appeal, "By employing the conspiracy liability statute, the
state is able to make persons death-eligible on nothing greater than a
negligence standard that the defendant 'should have anticipated' that his
conspirator would, in the course of any planned felony, intentionally kill
another person." He added, "negligence is the least culpable mental state
known to criminal law."
What about the justness of the law itself?
The Law of Parties is a pretty transparent attempt to optimize
convictions. By placing such a low threshold of proof, under which someone
can be sent to death for failing to anticipate the actions of another,
prosecutors have a multitude of strategies they can enlist to negotiate
plea bargains and send multiple people to prison or the death chamber.
Sentences ultimately boil down to who chooses to cooperate with the state,
rather than who actually committed the crime. For example, Irineo Montoya
was executed in 1997 for restraining a man while Juan Fernando
Villavicencio stabbed him. Villavicencio, on the other hand, was acquitted
of the murder after key witnesses in both trials (relatives of
Villavicencio) changed their testimonies. The Law of Parties shows the lie
to the notion of the death penalty as something reserved for the "worst of
the worst." Instead, it shows what a cynical political strategy the
sanction actually is. Also, by asking jurors to determine if a defendant
should have anticipated that a crime was going to take place, when that
very jury obviously already knows that it has, the prosecution is asking
individuals to make life and death decisions based on what seems logical
in retrospect. It is a law that is ripe for abuse.
I noticed when reading the materials accompanying the case that Foster
attempted to drive away after LaHood was shot. What does this mean to the
case and how important is it to proving Foster's intent (or lack of
This important piece of information never came out at the original trial.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to have new evidence stand during
appeals, as the defense must be able to demonstrate that something
prevented them from acquiring the evidence in the first place. One of the
jurors in Kenneth's original trial said that if he had known Kenneth tried
to drive away, he would have voted for a different verdict.
When the trial judge told the jury that they could "find the defendant
Kenneth Foster guilty of the offense of capital murder, though he may have
had no intent to commit the offense," was the judge correct?
According to the Law of Parties, a defendant is responsible for another
person's felony if it is committed in furtherance of a crime they were
both responsible for. However, the jury should have been asked to
determine if Kenneth was an active agent in a criminal conspiracy that he
either knew would result in LaHood's death or should have anticipated
would have ended in murder. Under the judge's instructions, the
prosecution did not even have to meet this low threshold of proof.
Most everyone knows that Texas leads the United States in executions.
Given Texas' reputation, how does the defense hope to prevent Kenneth's
Texas will perform its 400th execution since 1982 in 2007. It is obviously
a state out of control in its use of the death penalty. Because of this,
there are many reasons to believe that Kenneth's odds are rather low.
Furthermore, conventional wisdom dictates that little hope is left when an
execution date is set. However, the death penalty is on the defensive in
the United States in a way it has not been for years. Beginning with the
2003 death row commutations in Illinois, the nation as a whole has begun
asking hard questions about capital punishment, especially regarding
innocence and lethal injection. While Texas still manages to be the
exception to the rule in its flagrant use of capital punishment, there are
signs that the tide is turning here, as well. Recently, the Supreme Court
decided against the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in three death penalty
cases. Also, the CCA has been deciding in favor of death row defendants at
an unusual rate. Over the past several years, the cases of Ruben Cantu,
Carlos DeLuna, and Cameron Todd Willingham have emerged as instances in
which innocent men were almost certainly put to death in Texas. The
statewide anti-death penalty movement continues to grow in size and
confidence. While it is hard to make definitive predictions about what
will or will not happen on August 30 (Kenneth's scheduled execution date),
I believe we have plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Texas is beginning to
feel pressure where its use of the death penalty is concerned, and a case
such as Kenneth's is certainly one that can fan the flames of public
discontent and create enough political pressure to halt his execution.
You are a member of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. Can you tell us
about their work?
Formed in 1998, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is a national
grassroots anti-death penalty organization based in Chicago. We oppose the
death penalty for five reasons: it is racist, it targets the poor, it
condemns the innocent to die, it does not prevent crime, and it
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. We organized in order to call
attention to the broad systemic implications of the death penalty,
insisting that it is inseparable from the unjust society in which it
operates. Committed to putting those who experience the death penalty
first-hand on the frontlines of this battle, we work closely with current
and exonerated death row inmates, as well as their families. The Campaign
was active in the movement that persuaded former Illinois Governor George
Ryan to clear the state's death row in 2003. Our chapters have also played
leading roles in the movements to save Gary Graham, Stan "Tookie"
Williams, Vernon Evans, and Kevin Cooper. The Austin chapter is also
working to win a new trial for Rodney Reed, an innocent man on who has
been on Texas's death row since 1998. Our national website is
What can people do to help prevent this execution?
Our experience teaches us that we cannot halt executions by appealing to
the better intentions of men like Texas Governor Rick Perry. Rather, those
who wield the power to execute individuals respond to political pressure.
That is why we must build a vibrant and visible movement around the
Kenneth Foster case. Those living in Texas should join the Save Kenneth
Foster Campaign and help us as we plan a July 21 press conference, rally,
and benefit concert in Austin. Those who are out of state can visit the
Save Kenneth Foster Campaign blog at http://savekenneth.blogspot.com/ and
download petitions, clemency letters, and case fact sheets. People can
also learn more about Kenneth and his case at http://www.freekenneth.com.
Fortunately, a number of activists form across the country are beginning
to take notice of Kenneth's case. What we need is a broad base of
awareness and action to put the spotlight squarely on Texas, a state that
for too long has continued to execute individuals with impunity.
Crash Course for Florida's Executioners
2 newly-trained teams of executioners committed to the principle of
"humane and dignified death" are ready to go into action as soon as
Florida's new governor Charlie Crist starts signing death warrants for the
state's 380 death row inmates -- but no one knows yet who will be the
first to be executed after the lifting of a 4-month moratorium.
This was confirmed to IPS by Gretl Plessinger, a public relations officer
at the Florida Department of Corrections. On May 9, Florida officially
ended its moratorium on executions declared in mid-December. On the same
day, Crist approved an array of proposals to improve the way the state
carries out its executions by lethal injection.
The moratorium was announced on Dec. 15, 2 days after a Florida
executioner fumbled repeatedly as he tried to find the vein in the left
arm of Angel Diaz, a convicted killer. The execution did eventually
succeed, but took more than half an hour -- at least twice as long as
Anti-death penalty activists all over the world protested amid suggestions
that Diaz might have been conscious during some of the time and
experienced excruciating pain. This would have been a violation of the
U.S. constitution which bars cruel punishment.
The scale of the protest led outgoing governor John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, the
man who had originally signed the Diaz death warrant, to declare a
temporary moratorium on executions while a hastily-called 11-member
commission investigated how to prevent a repetition.
Nine other U.S. states also introduced moratoriums on their executions by
lethal injection. Florida is the 1st of these to lift its moratorium.
Each of Florida's two new execution teams consisted of 10 people,
Plessinger told IPS. They had been trained in "numerous" places, including
Terre Haute in Indiana.
Terre Haute is a high-security prison in the geographical centre of the
U.S. Its death chamber, the only federal one in the country, was reopened
after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. It was there
that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed by lethal injection
in June 2001.
Governor Crist, widely-known for supporting capital punishment, has
approved all the 37 recommendations proposed by the commission of
The new rules require that a prison warden must be present to confirm that
that a condemned inmate is unconscious before the death-producing drugs
are injected, Plessinger said in a email response to questions submitted
by IPS. This apparently addresses the concern that Diaz might have been
aware that his executioner was struggling with his needles to complete the
last part of his execution.
More lighting had been installed in the death chamber, Plessinger said.
She side-stepped the question of whether Florida would be now increasing
the dosages of the drugs in its lethal injections.
But she confirmed that there would be no change in the make-up of the
chemicals in the three-part lethal injection. The commission had been
specifically asked to investigate whether the drugs used in Florida's
executions should be replaced with something else. "The department
explored not only the drugs used in Florida, but other states and by the
federal government," Plessinger said. "The drugs utilised by the Florida
department of corrections are consistent with the drugs used in other
But Plessinger left open the possibility that changes in the prescription
could be made later. "The department will continue to monitor developments
in pharmacology," she said.
The three drugs used in the U.S. lethal injections include sodium
pentothal, a general anaesthetic to make the inmate unconscious,
pancuronium bromide to induce paralysis, and a final injection of
potassium chloride to stop the heart.
Plessinger said she could not give the name of the next death row inmate
to be executed. "The department of corrections does not determine who is
executed. That decision is made by the governor's office," she said,
adding: "At this time governor Crist has not signed any death warrants."
But one death row inmate apparently threatened with imminent execution is
Ian Deco Lightbourne. In an effort to head this off, his lawyers have
asked the courts to order the four reporters who witnessed the Diaz
execution to produce their notes. The move was aimed at supporting their
case that execution by lethal injection was unconstitutional and
Lightbourne should be removed from death row.
The request for the notes has been rejected, IPS has learned. But Susan
Bunch, a lawyer representing one of the journalists, told IPS in a
telephone interview that she did not think this was the end of the battle
for Lightbourne's lawyers. "I didn't get the impression they were going to
give up on this," she said.
Predictably, the adoption of the Florida commission report on lethal
injections and the lifting of the moratorium on executions was criticised
by U.S. death penalty abolition groups.
"What they basically did was to take testimony, which was a step in the
right direction," David Elliott, spokesman for the National Coalition to
Abolish the Death Penalty, said. But he questioned how any study could be
helpful when no state offered an example of good practice in the
administration of lethal injections. He also questioned the thoroughness
of the commission's work.
Howard Simon, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union
of Florida, said the lifting of the moratorium was "out of step with
public opinion". The commission should have studied why Florida had "so
many" botched executions, he said. It should have also looked at the
alternatives to capital punishment.
But the decision to lift the moratorium was welcomed by the Texas-based
Justice for All, a pro-death penalty group with over 2,000 members in
different states. Execution by lethal injection was the "most humane"
means of execution, Diane Clements, its spokeswoman said.
Besides the 37 U.S. states which rely mainly on lethal injections, China,
Guatemala and Thailand also use this method of execution.
(source: IPS News)
NEW YORK----federal death penalty trial
Death penalty possible for convicted Guyanese pair
2 Guyanese immigrant men were convicted in federal court in a life
insurance murder scheme yesterday and could face the death penalty. Ronald
Mallay and Richard James showed no emotion as a Brooklyn jury convicted
them of engineering 2 murders - 1 in Queens and 1 in Guyana - that were
part of a wider scheme to garner life insurance proceeds from the deaths
of their victims.
Both men were also convicted of various counts of mail fraud and money
laundering conspiracy in a case that prosecutors said generated hundreds
of thousands of dollars in life insurance proceeds, which the defendants
divided among themselves and some family members. They have been in
custody since 2002.
The death penalty convictions involved the murder of Basdeo Somaipersaud
in January 1998 in Smokey Oval Park in Queens from an overdose of alcohol
and drugs, as well as the murder in Guyana in 1999 of Hardeo Sewnanan, 35,
from ingestion of alcohol and ammonia.
Mallay, 61, was convicted of taking part in both murders, as well as the
slayings in New York of Alfred Gobin and Vern Peter.
James, 47, an insurance agent, was acquitted of taking part in the
murder-for-hire of Sewnanan but convicted of Somaipersaud's killing, which
also made him eligible for the death penalty. James wasn't charged in the
Gobin and Peter deaths.
Prosecutors sought the death penalty for the Sewnanan and Somaipersaud
murders under two theories: murder-for-hire and murder in aid of
racketeering. Mallay was convicted under both theories. But the fact that
James faces the death penalty only under the racketeering theory for
Somaipersaud's death was particularly galling to defense attorney Steve
Zissou of Bayside, who thought there was a good chance of beating the
"You are talking about the thinnest of ice to support a death eligible
conviction," added Ephraim Savitt of Manhattan, another of James' lawyers.
Savitt said that the jury apparently based its verdict against James on a
taped conversation by informant Derrick Hassan, which the attorney
believed exonerated his client.
Judge Sterling Johnson set Sept. 17 for the beginning of the death penalty
phase of the case, in which prosecutors and defense attorneys would
present evidence for or against capital punishment. The case is the 4th
death penalty trial in Brooklyn this year. Only one, that of cop killer
Ronell Wilson, has so far resulted in a verdict of death.
Richard Jasper, who represents Mallay, said he didn't believe the case was
appropriate for the death penalty.
"One has to be absolutely certain" of a defendant's guilt, Jasper said
about capital punishment.
Savitt said the defense will move for a dismissal after the death penalty
phase is completed.
Court rules death row inmate's competence must be reconsidered
The state Court of Criminal Appeals has ordered a lower court to
reconsider the mental competency of death row inmate Paul Dennis Reid.
He was convicted in the slayings of 7 fast-food workers in Nashville and
Clarksville over a three-month stretch in 1997.
Reid is scheduled to be executed next year.
In a ruling Tuesday, the appeals court ruled that the Montgomery County
Circuit Court was wrong to reject arguments for a full hearing to decide
whether Reid understands his legal situation enough to be lawfully
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty