[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----TEXAS

Rick Halperin rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sun May 6 17:23:06 CDT 2007





May 6


TEXAS:

Tracy Lane Beatty Returns To Court Claiming Trial Attorneys Ineffective


Death row inmate Tracy Lane Beatty was back in a Smith County court Friday
claiming his trial attorneys were ineffective.

Beatty was convicted in 2004 by a Smith County jury and sentenced to death
for the Nov. 25, 2003, capital murder of his mother, Caroline "Callie"
Click.

Evidence showed the 46-year old killed his mother, stole her car, drained
her credit and bank accounts to buy drugs and alcohol, gave away her
personal items and buried her nude, contorted body in a shallow grave
behind her mobile home.

Attorney Jeff Haas is representing Beatty on the routine writ of habeas
corpus, a court proceeding that determines whether someone has been
lawfully imprisoned or convicted. Beatty is claiming that Robert Perkins
and Ken Hawk, who were appointed to defend Beatty at his capital murder
trial, provided ineffective assistant in his defense. After witness
testimony, which began Friday and will conclude next week, 241st District
Judge Jack Skeen Jr. will rule whether the attorneys were ineffective.

Perkins, who has been a lawyer since 1990, testified he has tried, either
as a prosecutor or defense attorney, about 20 capital murder cases, with
Beatty being the last.

Perkins, Hawk, an investigator and several experts appointed by the court
worked on Beatty's defense, he said. With the facts and circumstances,
they felt like Beatty was likely to be convicted so they tried to get him
convicted, of a charge other than capital murder so he would not face the
death penalty. During opening statements, Perkins said he told the jurors
his client was guilty of murder but not capital murder, which he said he
still believes. He said he did not believe prosecutors could prove he
committed capital murder.

He said they did not call any of their experts to testify about mitigating
factors during the punishment trial because their testimony would have
hurt Beatty rather than helped him. Several family members testified for
the state, and others would have hurt Beatty if the defense would have
called them to testify, Perkins said.

At one point, Beatty said he killed his mother in self defense but,
Perkins said, there was no evidence to support it. For a claim of self
defense, Beatty also would have had to testify in the trial, and cross
examination by prosecutors could have hurt his case, he said.

Perkins said he would have been happy with any evidence to support the
murder was committed in self defense or sudden passion.

He said Beatty told them many different versions of what happened with his
mother.

"Between everybody involved, I feel we did everything we knew to do," he
said.

Beatty never voiced concerns about the way attorneys defended him in
trial, he said.

NEW WITNESSES

Beatty's former stepfather, stepbrother and stepsister also testified
during the hearing. The former family members did not testify in Beatty's
capital murder trial.

Tim Day, of Gainesville, said he married Beatty's mother in 1978 and they
were married for 5 years. He said after he married her, he learned she had
serious mental problems. He said she overdosed on prescription pills
several times. He worked late hours and never saw her abuse Beatty or his
3 children, he said. Day said he saw 1 act of violence between Beatty and
his mother but he didn't know who the aggressor was.

Day characterized Beatty as a high-strung, hot-headed person. He said
Beatty escaped from a state reform school when he was 17 and once stole
his mother's car and wrecked it.

Chad Day, Beatty's former stepbrother, testified Ms. Click physically
abused him and his sister. He said they never told their father because
she told them not to. He said he never saw her beat Beatty, who once threw
his mother against a refrigerator and knocked her out.

Kami Bentley testified her former stepmother, Ms. Click, was physically
and mentally abusive. She also described being beaten and odd things she
would make them do, such as walk around in circles outside in the heat all
day.

She said Ms. Click did not beat Beatty and he never saw Beatty beat her.

As Beatty was being led out of the courtroom at the end of the proceedings
Friday, the judge had to warn Beatty he could be held in contempt of court
if he continued making comments to Smith County District Attorney Matt
Bingham.

Assistant DA Mike West is also representing the state in the proceeding,
which will continue Monday.

(source: Tyler Morning Telegraph)

*******************

Infant died of 'catastrophic injuries,' prosecutors say----Prosecutors say
after autopsy, mom admitted punching boy in the head


A baby who initially was said to have been dropped on a linoleum floor
suffered skull fractures, 2 wrist fractures, broken ribs on both sides and
a broken ankle, prosecutors said Friday.

Leonardo Gonzalez's massive injuries were detailed as his mother, Joanna
Michelle Vasquez, 22, made her first court appearance to face a capital
murder charge.

The 2-month-old boy died April 27 of "catastrophic injuries," prosecutors
said.

He had been placed on life support shortly after being taken to a hospital
on April 24 by Vasquez and her common-law husband, said Assistant District
Attorney John Jocher.

The father is not a suspect, authorities have said.

Vasquez at first told medical personnel and police she had shaken the baby
and dropped him on the "soft tile kitchen floor" in her north Houston
apartment, Jocher said.

After being confronted with the autopsy findings, however, she admitted
punching her baby 4 times in the head, prosecutors said in state District
Judge Michael McSpadden's court.

Estella Olguin, spokeswoman for Harris County Child Protective Services,
said recently that Vasquez admitted hitting and shaking her baby because
he would not stop crying.

Several friends and relatives attended the hearing and spoke with
Vasquez's attorney, Chuck Hinton, afterward. They and Hinton declined to
comment.

Vasquez is being held without bail. Her 2-year-old child from another
relationship is living with an aunt, authorities said.

No decision has been made on whether prosecutors will seek the death
penalty, Jocher said.

(source: Houston Chronicle)

*******************

Man pleads guilty in shooting over wheel covers


A Waco man who shot and killed Joel Alvarez Perez because he and 2 others
reportedly wanted the wheel covers off Perez's truck pleaded guilty to
capital murder Friday.

Tony Lee Johnson, 33, became the 1st capital murder defendant from
McLennan County to plead guilty under a new law that allows capital murder
defendants who don't receive the death penalty to be sentenced to life in
prison without parole. The law went into effect Sept. 1, 2005.

Previously, those convicted of capital murder who didn't receive the death
penalty were eligible for parole after 40 years.

Judge Matt Johnson of Waco's 54th State District Court postponed
sentencing Johnson because part of his plea bargain with prosecutors'
calls for him to testify, if necessary, against his co-defendants: Jason
Clovis House, 34, and Alton Degrate Hawkins, 33.

House and Hawkins have pretrial hearings set for June 15. Prosecutor
Crawford Long said Friday that the district attorney's office has not
determined if it will seek the death penalty in those 2 cases.

Although Johnson fired the shot that killed 32-year-old Perez, House and
Hawkins are eligible for the death penalty as parties to a capital
offense, Long said.

Perez was killed during a robbery Sept. 28 in the 500 block of North 24th
Street. His truck was driven to the 2900 block of Maple Hill Circle where
Perez's body and his truck were found, police have said.

Perez reportedly was killed for the wheel covers on his truck, Long has
said.

Johnson's attorneys, Russ Hunt Sr., of Waco, and Michael White, of Temple,
said that Johnson is a drug dealer with a prior robbery conviction and
that Perez was killed during a "drug deal gone bad."

(source: Waco Tribune-Herald)

*****************

Detectives try to keep up as homicide rate grows


Every 73 hours last year, someone in San Antonio was slain.

By year's end, police had cleared about half of the 119 killings, leaving
dozens of families desperate for answers and impatient for justice.

As slayings in 2006 jumped by nearly a third over the previous year, the
rate of cases solved dropped by a similar amount, making the department's
homicide clearance rate one of the lowest it reported in the past decade.

The city's 11 homicide detectives struggled to keep up, solving a lower
rate of cases than Dallas, Houston, Austin, El Paso and Fort Worth, and
below the national average.

Compared to their counterparts in those cities, the detectives handled
from almost double to more than 10 times the number of cases.

The odds could be considered stacked against them: the SAPD unit has, for
example, fewer detectives than Austin, which is smaller and had 1/6 the
homicides last year. And unlike many departments, detectives here usually
aren't called out in the middle of the night to investigate fresh murder
scenes. They reconstruct the details based on overnight reports left on
their desks.

"If people really knew how little resources are put toward these murders,
I think some of the families would be a little upset," said one San
Antonio homicide detective who, like most interviewed, asked not to be
identified for fear of retaliation from his superiors. "But we just don't
have the manpower."

Police Chief William McManus, who declined repeated requests for an
in-person interview, said through e-mail that the 50.4 percent clearance
rate is "not where we would like it to be."

Those rates "vary from year to year and depend upon a number of factors
regarding the complexity of each case," he said.

In his first year with the department, McManus was faced with the spike
that, at 9.5 homicides per 100,000 residents, meant San Antonio
experienced a higher murder rate than San Diego and even New York City.

But as McManus funneled more resources into preventing homicides, the
number of detectives assigned to investigate them shrunk.

Last month, with one position vacant, one detective on medical leave and
another up for promotion, only eight were left to handle new cases - the
same number of detectives who investigate homicides in Fort Worth, a city
with half the population of San Antonio and half the homicides.

McManus did not directly address whether he thought there were enough
homicide detectives but wrote, "Staffing needs are being identified and
will be further discussed through the budget process."

City Manager Sheryl Sculley said, "We will look at all aspects of the
Police Department in the upcoming budget, including homicide detectives."

For the families of the victims whose cases remain unsolved, no effort
feels quick enough to bring them resolution.

"You just feel so powerless and so helpless," said 25-year-old Kate
Richardson, whose mother, attorney Christia Mitchell, was found strangled
and drowned in the bathtub of her Northwest Side home in January 2006.

"It makes me so mad."

Overloaded

An arrest might help Shelly Delgado understand why her 36-year-old brother
Kevin was shot dead in a crowded Northeast Side sports bar last year as he
watched television.

More than a year later, she knows little about what happened - detectives,
she said, never return her calls.

Detectives say overwhelming caseloads mean something's "gotta give" -
often, that means communication with victims' families.

"I get tired of telling people, 'I haven't gotten to that yet,'" one
detective said.

Last year, San Antonio homicide detectives - who also investigate all
unnatural deaths and police-involved shootings - handled an average of
10.8 murder cases each.

In comparison, Houston detectives handled about 6 cases each; Dallas
detectives investigated about 7 murder cases apiece; and Austin detectives
worked about 2.

For the SAPD homicide squad, a particularly brutal month last year may be
a case in point: 13 people were slain in July. Ten months later, only 3 of
their cases have been solved.

In 2006 detectives logged a total of 2,945 hours of overtime - about 500
more hours than they collectively earned the previous year.

This continued this year: in January alone, homicide detectives
investigated 14 new murders, and worked nearly 500 hours of overtime.

As each new case lands on their desks, they're carving out time to chase
down older cases.

"You take the case that's got the best leads and run with that one," a
detective said.

Manpower has been an issue at the department for years because the number
of officers hasn't kept pace with the city's astronomical growth.

In his 1st months as chief in 2006, McManus made it a priority and netted
54 new patrol officer positions in this year's budget.

Over the past few years, as the city's homicides dropped to levels below
100, the homicide unit gradually lost positions to other sections like
aggravated assaults.

Homicide Lt. Mark Witherell said he'd welcome more detectives but couldn't
guarantee it would mean more cases solved.

"I think I'm in the category of every other police department around here
or in the country saying, 'Hey, we'd love more,'" Witherell said. "But
give me 10 more people and I'll get you more clearance rates? I can't say
that. I just don't think that's true."

McManus said most homicides are solved at the scene, and added that they
are "difficult to prevent."

Still, he developed two programs this year aimed at curbing violent crime:
a Tactical Response Unit, a mobile team of officers who target troubled
neighborhoods and a policy requiring officers to secure an immediate
arrest warrant for domestic violence suspects, after that type of homicide
almost tripled in 2006.

"You can never measure how many murders are prevented by proactive
policing," McManus said.

The approach

A 1999 study for the Justice Research and Statistics Association, done by
University of Maryland criminologist Charles Wellford, found the number of
detectives assigned to a murder case had a "significant effect on closing
the case."

So did the way detectives investigated a homicide. Detectives were more
likely to solve a case, according to the study, when "three or more"
saturated the crime scene within the initial crucial hours, normally
considered the first 48.

Such a method was used when video game store clerk Amber Belken was found
suffocated a few months ago in a storeroom at work. The case received a
lot of publicity because Belken was 24, her parents' only child and the
type no one expected to fall victim to such seemingly random violence.

Nearly all the available detectives joined the initial effort to find her
killer, who remains at large.

But detectives said that protocol usually isn't followed in day-to-day
detective work because they don't have enough people and is more the
exception than the rule.

A return to the team approach last year in Houston "contributed
significantly to our clearance rate improvement," said HPD Homicide Capt.
Dale Brown, whose squad cleared 71 % of its cases in 2006 - a 12 % point
improvement over the previous year.

And while detectives here work long hours and return to the office late at
night if a case breaks, unlike many other departments, they don't respond
to new slayings that happen overnight.

Instead, the heavy log of overnight killings usually is left for
detectives with the Night Criminal Investigations unit, who respond to all
major crimes - including robberies, sexual and aggravated assaults, in
addition to homicide calls - between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.

In the morning, they turn over what they've learned to the homicide
section.Wellford called it an "unusual approach," one he hadn't
encountered with the dozens of other homicide departments he'd studied.

Detectives here decried the method, complaining that instead of working a
"hot" crime scene, they get stacks of homicide reports to read in the
morning.

Confusing numbers

Figuring out how many murders are solved in any given year can be
difficult.

Numbers in the FBI Uniform Crime Report are considered the national
standard in measuring crime.

By that measure, San Antonio's homicide clearance rate was lower than the
national average, 50.4 % compared to 62 %, according to UCR criteria.

But the department still lists its clearance rate as 36.1 % on its Web
site.

3 days before this report about the clearance rate, a police spokeswoman
said that number was wrong and no explanation was provided when the new
number was given.

Internally, the department lists even a higher clearance rate - at 57.98 %
of homicides solved. That's because SAPD considers a homicide solved if it
has an arrest warrant - even if the suspect has fled to Mexico, for
example. UCR does not.

According to UCR criteria, a murder is cleared only if someone is arrested
and in custody. But cases cleared by "exceptional means," such as the
death of a suspect, also are counted.

Of SAPD's 69 cleared homicides last year, seven were solved because the
suspects died at the time in murder-suicides. One suspect was shot dead by
police during a standoff with officers.

Changing times

Nationwide, the average homicide clearance rate has dropped 22 % over the
past few decades, from 79 % in 1976. Experts believe a change in homicides
is partly responsible for that decline, said Derral Cheatwood, a
criminologist and professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Decades ago, homicides were more likely to be committed by disgruntled
lovers or angry friends. But as cities are faced with increasing
populations and more gang and drug-related crimes, homicides between
strangers are increasingly common.

It's difficult to pinpoint a suspect if he or she has no link with his
victim.

Better legal protections for suspects and a higher burden of proof for
prosecutors also contributed to the falling rate.

Police departments today also work more closely with prosecutors to build
stronger cases. Bexar County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Scott
Simpson visits the SAPD homicide office about once a week for case
updates.

"It's not our job to just arrest somebody," said Witherell, the homicide
lieutenant. "Our job is to solve cases and prepare a case that's good
enough so that when it gets to the (district attorney's) office it's going
to get an indictment or it's going to get a jury to say 'guilty.'"

That higher bar makes the department's clearance rates "more credible," he
said. "We're not taking credit for something that we're just putting on
somebody else's desk and hoping for the best."

Looking for closure

For the bereaved families of those shot and stabbed, bludgeoned and
strangled, only one case matters.

Sharon McKenzie, whose son Marshall Iglesias was found shot and burned on
an isolated highway median, once felt so desperate for information she
called the FBI.

"'I need help,'" she said. "I figured they could get on the case faster."

A Texas crime victim bill of rights details various privileges granted
survivors - from the right to know the dates of any relevant court
proceedings to the return of their loved one's property - but it does not
obligate law enforcement or prosecutors to release any information to
victims' families that could jeopardize a case.

"It's at their discretion whether they can share information with families
or concerned others," said Kevin O'Brien, director for education and
victims services at the National Center for Victims of Crime in
Washington. "It's very difficult for families to live with that."

But their job is to solve a crime. And the more phone calls they field
from relatives eager to share new leads, the less time detectives have to
focus on the cases, said Jimmy Holguin, a veteran SAPD homicide detective
and now chief investigator at the Bexar County medical examiner's office.

That rationale - or even a complicated explanation of budget and manpower
issues limiting the number of detectives working a case - doesn't appease
a grieving family member.

Maria Elena Martinez, whose daughter Magdalene Martinez Battise was found
stabbed to death in a North Side industrial park last October, feels like
the case is "at zero."

"We don't have (reward) money to offer," Martinez said. "Maybe that's why
they haven't caught the killer."

The father of Kevin Delgado, the victim killed in a Northeast Side sports
bar last year, will continue to attend meetings of Parents of Murdered
Children, waiting for an answer.

McKenzie monitors the nightly news, taking note of all the new homicides
in the city, among them the torture of Corey William Baxter in March, who,
like her son, was shot and then burned.

The killings can seem overwhelming to families anxious about whether
detectives can get to the cases of their loved one.

"Every day they wait, another heinous crime comes up," said Masoud Rasti,
who was engaged to Mitchell, the slain attorney. "I'm not saying
Christia's file should go above them but when are they going to do
something about it?"

Detectives keep chipping away at their caseloads, each day hoping that
time will prove an ally and not another roadblock.

"I think every case is solvable," Holguin said. "It's just the detective's
job to find the right way to find that end."

But by Friday, the killings showed no sign of abating - 40 had been slain
to date in 2007, just 3 deaths less than in the same time last year.

(source : San Antonio Express-News)

*****************************************

Right direction


It may have been a small step, but it was in the right direction. The
House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee passed a measure last week that
would give the governor authority to enact an emergency moratorium on
capital punishment if events warranted one. Unlike most other
death-penalty states, Texas lacks such a safety valve. That's a shameful
deficiency for the nation's leading execution state, especially
considering the recent rash of DNA exonerations. (source: Opinion, Dallas
Morning News)

*********************

Veteran judge to exit job; possible run for DA seen


After more than 14 years on the criminal court bench, state District Judge
Bob Gill announced Friday that he is stepping down at the end of the
month, stirring speculation that he may one day run for Tarrant County
district attorney.

Gill was first elected in 1992, and his current 4-year term ends in
December 2008. Eventually, Gov. Rick Perry will appoint a replacement, but
a visiting judge will be appointed to the handle the court's docket in the
meantime. After spending 11 years as a local prosecutor and then serving
on the bench, the 51-year-old judge said, it was time to move on.

"I've been in public service for 25 years, and it's time for me to have a
little change of pace," Gill said. "It's time for me to not have my nose
to the grindstone 24 hours a day and 7 days a week."

Gill is already being mentioned as a potential replacement for Tarrant
County District Attorney Tim Curry, if and when the county's top
prosecutor decides to retire. There is speculation that 68-year-old Curry
is serving out his last term after nearly 35 years in office.

Gill would say only that he is giving up his $137,000-a-year post to work
as a visiting judge and to pursue other projects. He said any talk about
him running for district attorney, especially before Curry makes his plans
known, is "extremely premature."

But Gill did not rule out seeking the job in the future. Curry couldn't be
reached for comment Friday.

"I'd be a fool if I didn't keep that idea in the back of my mind and to
look at my options if something comes up," Gill said.

An empty bench

Some attorneys and judges were surprised to hear that Gill was stepping
down from the 213th District Court, and they praised his work as a jurist,
calling him tough but fair, calm but at times impatient with shoddy legal
work.

"It's a great loss for Bob Gill to leave," said state District Judge
Sharen Wilson. "He is a smart, calm, well-respected judge. He is respected
not only by the attorneys who appear before him but the other judges who
serve with him. I'm personally sad."

Lance Evans, a criminal defense attorney, said Gill's departure is a loss
for the Tarrant County criminal justice system. "I think he is a very fair
judge, and I hope his replacement will follow the law like he did," Evans
said.

Among the names being circulated in local legal circles as possible
replacements are Louis Sturns, former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
justice; Phil Sorrells, county criminal court judge; and defense attorneys
Bill Ray and Santiago Salinas.

State District Judge Jeff Walker, the presiding judge for the Eighth
Administrative Region, said he may appoint Gill to serve in his old court
until the governor makes an appointment.

Tough but fair

During his years on the bench, Gill presided over several high-profile
cases, but none more notable than those involving the slaying of Fort
Worth socialite Caren Koslow.

She was killed in March 1992 by a trio of teenage attackers that included
her stepdaughter, Kristi Koslow; Brian Salter, her former fiance; and
Jeffrey Dillingham, a mutual friend.

Dressed in black and armed with a pry bar, a knife and a gun, Dillingham
and Salter entered Jack and Caren Koslows home near River Crest Country
Club. Kristi Koslow had offered Dillingham and Salter $1 million to kill
her father and stepmother. Jack Koslow survived the serious injuries he
suffered in the attack.

Gill had been on the bench about 6 months when Dillingham's trial began.

Dillingham got the death penalty; Salter pleaded guilty in exchange for a
life sentence. A jury gave Kristi Koslow life behind bars, too, but only
after an emotional trial in which her father testified that his daughter
deserved to be executed.

While he had prosecuted death-penalty cases, it was his first as a judge.
Gill moved 1 of the trials out of town because of the pre-trial publicity.
He said he took it day by day.

"It certainly had my attention, and I worked hard at it to make sure it
got done right," Gill said.

Doing the 'right thing'

Mark Daniel, one of Kristi Koslow's attorneys, said Gill is what a judge
ought to be.

"Efficient. Knowledgeable of the law. Fair," said Daniel, who has written
2 highly regarded books with Gill, the Texas Criminal Lawyers Handbook and
Texas Criminal Forms. "And he expects all parties to be prepared."

His deep knowledge of the law means that he sometimes doesn't suffer fools
gladly. Not a chatty man, but known for his dry wit, he has a nameplate on
his desk with one of his quotes from the bench: "I don't say much and I
prefer that you don't either."

And despite his reputation for fairness, Gill is also known for handing
out tough sentences. Taped to the same nameplate is a hand-made sign
poking fun at his hang-'em-high reputation. It describes Gill as "bit of a
toughy."

To that, Gill simply says: "I think I do the right thing."

(source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

**********************

Evidence missing in Graves' retrial found in old jail cell----Exhibits
used in '94 trial is spotted in a closed cell just before a deadline, his
attorneys say


Evidence missing in the capital murder retrial of former death row inmate
Anthony Graves was discovered in a cell that had been welded shut in the
old Burleson County Jail, defense attorneys said Friday.

The evidence used in Graves' 1994 trial went missing and was found in the
old jail cell just before a May 1 deadline set by Burleson County District
Judge Reva Towslee-Corbett, defense attorney Jeff Blackburn said.

"All that stuff was just thrown in there," said Blackburn, one of four
attorneys representing Graves, 41, for free because they believe he is
innocent. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty again.

Phone conversation

Blackburn said he learned of the discovered evidence through a phone
conversation Friday with special prosecutor Patrick Batchelor.

Batchelor did not respond to a request for comment, but Blackburn said the
evidence in the old jail, which is now used by the Department of Public
Safety, was discovered very close to the deadline.

He said the evidence could be seen in the cell, but officials were unable
to pry it open until Wednesday or Thursday.

Blackburn said skull caps of the victims were among the evidence
discovered, but he was awaiting the completion of an inventory to know
exactly what had been found.

"It's certainly important for us in the sense that we are eager to have it
tested because I am confident it is not going to implicate Anthony and it
will shed light on who was responsible for this," said Nicole Casarez, one
of Graves' attorneys.

6 slain in 1992

The evidence was collected following the 1992 slaying of Bobbie Joyce
Davis, 45; her 16-year-old daughter, Nicole; and 4 grandchildren between 4
and 9 years old.

Evidence included clothing worn by the victims and Graves; hair, fiber and
blood samples; the skull caps, and several knives used in a demonstration
during the 1994 trial to show how they might have pierced the victims'
skulls.

The victims were stabbed, shot and bludgeoned with a hammer and the house
doused with gasoline and set ablaze. The knife was never found.

False testimony

A federal appeals court last year ordered a new trial for Graves after he
found that prosecutors withheld evidence and elicited false testimony
during the trial from Texas Ranger Ray Coffman, now chief Texas Ranger.

Robert Carter, executed for the slayings in 2000, recanted his testimony
against Graves several times.

Moments before his execution, Carter vouched for Graves' innocence.

(source: Houston Chronicle)

**************************


Texas Federal District Judge Royal Furgeson has overturned the death
sentence of Kenneth Foster Jr. on March 3, 2007.

Recently Kenneth Foster's lawyer filed a Writ of Cert and it was denied as
of April 23rd, 2007. This means this inmate could get an execution date at
anytime. Texas leads the nations in executions and have executed 13
inmates so far this year by lethal injection.

While most people think Capital punishment is reserved for those who
commit the most heinous crimes, Texas thinks different. Texas has passed a
bill that will allow some second time sex predators to receive the death
sentence. Texas also hands down the death penalty to those who have not
even touched the weapon, but were present at the scene. Under The Law of
Parties, Kenneth and approximately 80-100 inmates sit on death row,
waiting execution, and have not killed anyone.

Has Texas taken this case too far? Are they going to go forward and give
this man an execution date, and eventually execute him by lethal
injection?

Foster was just the get-away driver in a series of robberies. One robbery
went wrong and an innocent man, Mr. LaHood was shot. The gunman, Mauriceo
Brown was executed for this murder, and openly admits to acting solely
alone, and admitted this shooting was not planned. After all, the previous
robberies on that day resulted in non violence, so it's assumable the last
one would occur the same way, in non violence. Foster was seated in his
car the entire time.

Taken from my interview with Kenneth Foster Jr., a comment made by D.
Doyle, "There is surely something wrong with the death penalty being done
unto one who did not cause death. Society must learn that it is
responsible to take into account that until the trigger is pulled, or
until the knife breaks skin there is time for the assailant to back out
from the crime, and that since this man pulled no trigger and broke no
skin it cannot "reasonably" be said that he proved beyond doubt that he
would not have acted on behalf of his fellow man and victim. This inmate's
crime was in something less than what he could be held accountable for in
murder".

Recently three death row inmates death sentences were rejected by the
Supreme Court, because the courts failed to instruct the jurors to
consider migrating circumstances. In Foster's trial, migrating
circumstances were also not heard. This alone should qualify Foster for a
retrial. The inmates involved with this issue has murdered someone.

In a Nation that executions have been debatable, with eleven states
halting executions to review the method of lethal injection, calling it
cruel and unusual, are we going to allow this inmate to be executed?
Knowing he was not the gunman, knowing he had no knowledge that a shooting
was going to take place, and knowing his trial was shoddy, and he was
clearly railroaded. He has been called a thug, a gangster, and an animal.
But by who? Who lives? Who dies? Who decides?

Please access the site Kenneth Foster Jr.'s family and friends have
created for him for more information. He is a father, a son, a grandchild,
a husband, a friend, but most of all, he is a human being. His life is
worth saving.

(source: Associated Content)







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