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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kenneth Foster

Brother Eddie Griffin in Texas sent us this email. This is posted on his blog at this link: PETITION FOR REPRIEVE OF EXECUTION.

If you want to help you can sign the petition here, call 512.584.1578 for more information, and/or to come to a rally in support of Kenneth. Tuesday, August 21, starting at 5pm, we will meet in front of the Capitol at 11th St. and Congress Ave., then march to the Governor’s mansion to make our voices heard: Stop the Execution of Kenneth Foster!

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The Case of KENNETH EUGENE FOSTER, JR.

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
Executive Clemency Section
8610 Shoal Creek Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78757
Telephone: (512) 406-5852
Fax (512) 467-0945

Attn.: Rissie L. Owens, Jose Aliseda, Jr., Charles Aycock, Conrith Davis, Jackie DeNoyelles, Linda Garcia, Juanita M. Gonzalez

August 14, 2007

Dear Board Members:

We implore you to use your better sense of judgment and compassion and grant clemency to Kenneth Foster, Jr. before the scheduled execution of August 30, 2007. Despite his conviction by the courts and death sentence by a jury, Foster does not deserve to die.

A young 19-year old man becomes an unwitting accomplice of a horrible crime, not by direct participation, but by causal association with the wrong people, at the wrong time, in the wrong place. Should he be put to death for the crime of another?

Federal District Judge Royal Furgeson who overturned Foster’s death sentence in 2005 recognized, “There was no evidence before Foster’s sentencing jury which would have supported a finding that Foster either actually killed LaHood or that Foster intended to kill LaHood or another person.”

On June 29, 1972, in the case of Furman v. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that every state death penalty law in the U.S. was unconstitutional because the death penalty was being unfairly and arbitrarily assigned. When Texas rewrote its death penalty statute, the penalty was reserved for the most egregious cases of murder, and only then in commission with another crime.

But this has not halted state district attorneys from pushing the envelope. In the case of Foster, the prosecution pushed the limit of sensibility and social consciousness by stretching the “law of parties”. Any indirect party without foreknowledge of a crime can be help as culpable as the perpetrator by mere association. If this was the intent of the law, it would be grossly unfair and contrary to the Furman decision.

We bring this case to your attention for an urgent reprieve and a recall to our collective sensibility. It is just not right for one man to die for the crime of another.

Sincerely,
Eddie Griffin, human rights advocate, reprieved by Furman (1972)

Cc:
Governor Rick Perry
State Capitol
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711-2428
Telephone: 512-463-2000
Fax: (512) 463-1849
E-mail: www.governor.state.tx.us/contact

UPDATE:

If you are moved by the case of Kenneth Foster and can get to Austin, we encourage all justice-minded people to come to a rally in support of Kenneth. Tuesday, August 21, starting at 5pm, we will meet in front of the Capitol at 11th St. and Congress Ave., then march to the Governor’s mansion to make our voices heard: Stop the Execution of Kenneth Foster!

For more information, visit http://savekenneth.blogspot.com or call 512.584.1578.

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