Act Now: Tell Texas Not to Execute an Innocent Man

This first appeared in AlterNet's PEEK blog.

At this time last summer, the life of a Texas prisoner named Kenneth Foster was saved by a grassroots movement to stop his execution. Foster came within hours of being killed by lethal injection, when, in an unprecedented manner, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted to recommend that his death sentence be commuted. Governor Rick Perry complied. Today, Kenneth Foster is still behind bars serving a sentence disproportionate to his crime. But he is alive.

As I write this, activists are trying to do the same for a prisoner named Jeff Wood. Wood and Foster were both sentenced to die under Texas's "law of parties," which allows a jury to convict a defendant who was not the primary actor in a crime. The law states that "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." This is how Kenneth Foster, the "getaway driver" in a series of robberies, ended up on death row for a murder committed by someone else, 80 feet away -- a man who himself was later executed. And this is why Jeff Wood faces execution today.

You can go here to read the specifics of the Wood case. Go here for more information on what you can do. But please consider contacting the state of Texas to urge them not to take the life of a man who did not murder anyone.

Call the Governor: (512) 463-2000

Call the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles: (512) 406-5240

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