Thursday, August 30, 2007

Surprise of the Day: Parole Board recommends sparing Kennth Foster; now it's up to Gov. Perry

The courts have scheduled Kenneth Foster to die tonight, but the Parole Board today recommended he be spared in a surprising 6-1 vote. (I wonder which one was the "one"?)

Now Texas Gov. Rick Perry must decide Foster's fate.

The case has drawn international controversy (yet again) to Texas' well-oiled capital punishment apparatus. See also Grits' Open Letter to the Governor arguing why supporters of capital punishment should agree with commuting Foster's death sentence.

UPDATE:

17 comments:

thesanantonian said...

I'm not a fan of the death penalty but I really don't see how this case in particular ended up being such a cause celebre. And yet, just as Susan Reed wanted, the Ruben Cantu case is all but forgotten about.

Kenneth Foster's case is not the type of case that I'd hang my hat on for opposition to the death penalty or the law of parties. It strains credulity that he had no idea what Maurecio Brown was going to do with that gun.

It just mystifies me how this happened. And I'm just as shocked Perry did something about it.

sunray's wench said...

I'm amazed too, but for once in his life, Perry (AND the BPP) did the right thing.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

The sanantonian wrote: "I really don't see how this case in particular ended up being such a cause celebre"

I think it was when the Fifth Circuit said his sentence contained a "fundamental constitutional defect" and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said "Kill him anyway."

thesanantonian said...

I'm not going to apologize for the CCA in any way. The CCA in general sucks and we all know that.

I must be stupid, or callous, or both. I'm normally one to oppose the death penalty. I'm just not "getting it" in this particular case.

And, my distrust/hatred of Perry makes me wonder what angle he's working here. There has to be something in this for him. He can't possibly be doing this because it's the right thing. Is he capable of even believing this is the right thing to do?

Anonymous said...

This is very good news. The State of Texas has avoided a horrible mistake.

Thanks to everyone that worked hard on behalf of Mr. Foster!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just checked the weather forecast in Hell. Hell has experienced an Arctic Blast with temperatures plummeting into the low teens and still dropping.

Could this be a sign of the second coming?

Holy Cow! Death commuted to Life in Texas. World headlines were made today in Texas. Like Anon 1:50 I can only wonder what Good Hair is up to. Think he called up Rissie Owens and told her for the board to vote for commutation? The hold out vote was to make it look like a real vote not a political action.

Is Rick trying for an image make-over? What you see is the new caring and concerned Rick Perry. Maybe Rick is in touch with his inner child. Or could it be that Rick sees that Shrub has worn out the tough guy without thinking routine with the national voters. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

I am anti-death penalty. It provides no proven better result. I remember in college studying the death penalty in the U.S. The research showed non death penalty states had less violent crime. The cost to carry out the death penalty was over the top. I guess if you see the state kill people it makes it ok somewhere in your own mind. Reminds me of the old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do”. I am also opposed to the death penalty on religious grounds. Also if you make a mistake you don’t get a “Do Over”.

For all of the Bible Thumpers who quote Old Testament to justify the death penalty you might want to swap over to the New Testament if you are of a Christian faith. After the coming of Christ the New Testament came into effect. Look closely at the two commandments of Christ when considering the death penalty. The Old Testament is based on law which Jesus said we as people were not capable of keeping thus he died for the sins of mankind in their place. The sacrificial law of the Old Testament was satisfied through the death of Christ on the cross. The two commandments of Christ are a study in themselves so you might want to do some study on this topic yourself. Ask your Priest or Minister to explain the Two Commandments of Christ and how they impact topics you care deeply about. For the record my Theology degree came from one of the fine Baptist Institutions of Higher Learning right here in Texas along with the others.

By – FTM

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Rick Perry had the stones to call the LaHood family, who were in favor of this execution.

sunray's wench said...

the sanantonian said: "I must be stupid, or callous, or both. I'm normally one to oppose the death penalty. I'm just not "getting it" in this particular case."

What is there not to get? Foster did not kill anyone.

I think you are right, I was discussing this with an anti-DP friend last night and we concluded that Perry had to have told the BPP to vote the way they did so that they would all come out looking less stupid than they would otherwise have. Apparently 16 state reps also petitioned Perry yesterday ~ would be interesting to see who they were, as well as the BPP member who drew the short straw and got the 'no' vote. Of course it could just have been HUGE international pressure from the likes of the European Union, Bishop Desmond Tutu and several Archbishops, not to mention every news article I've seen over the past couple of weeks covering this, all saying its a ridiculous law and to have killed Foster would have simply been wrong.

Perhaps now the law of parties will be looked at in the next Leg. session.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I wonder if Rick Perry had the stones to call the LaHood family, who were in favor of this execution.

8/30/2007 4:37 PM

No stones for Perry. The media called the family on their way to Huntsville. How's that? No matter which side of the argument you're on, that's just chickens****. And for his reasoning being the long-since dismissed argument of dual trial for capital defendants, wonder what he has to say to Mauriceo Brown's family? BTW, the jury that heard both cases at once delivered their verdict on Foster and THEN deliberated further and delivered the death verdict for Brown. Doesn't that tell you that the jury was more quickly convinced of the special issues beyond a reasonable doubt for Foster? Why doesn't Bexar County just do away with jury summons and just send a statement of the case to the gov's office and let him decide all. Their juries are obviously too stupid to live.
This guy is so clearly looking out for himself.
BTW, Foster's family, who all along said they believed he should pay for his participation (as did the reps), announced last night that they believe he should now be paroled. apparently 11 years is sufficient.

How's that for a kick in the behind?

sunray's wench said...

As I understand it, Foster's sentence was commuted to life, which I think means he will have to do around 35 years (in total) before the BPP get to look at him again, because I assume it will still be classed as an aggravated crime which means he must do 50% of his time. I'd be even more amazed if he walked out after doing just 11.

Anonymous said...

the BIG picture here, the one that might save THOUSANDS, instead of a single person, is a class action lawsuit by attorney Norman L Sirak that seeks to use FEDERAL grounds, instead of laughable Texas state law, to force the parole board to do their job right--even though it might make them work a little bit--something that scares many state employees almost as much as the death penalty.See www.fixtexasparole.com and www.parolereform.com. Rich and fancy Texas lawyers that charge many thousands of dollars to deliver little, if anything at all to their desperate clients, are heatedly bad mouthing this class action lawsuit that has a very modest price of 400 dollars--instead of the thousands I lost to a Texas lawyer that delivered NOTHING AT ALL to my family. Inform your local pastors and churches about this class action lawsuit so that they in turn can inform their parishoners that have relatives who have been denied parole unjustly. Reference this lawsuit in your MYSPACE account if you have one, YOUTUBE, etc. The dirty tricksters are trying to play their usual games in order to defeat attorney Sirak's lawsuit and our best bet to correct the arrogant parole system is to let the world know about Norman Sirak's lawsuit against the Texas Parole Board. As usual the media is totally useless--they only cater and pander to those they favor---these are the same people that would shut the internet down if they could. My brother got 20 years for one count of sexual assault--every picture he had of his own wife of some ten years was determined to be a "victim" by a Dallas judge--the fact that my brother had been married for almost a decade was not evenmentioned at his trail. If I lived in Texas I would not provide any voluntary information to law enforcement authorities until the state fixes its parole system.

Anonymous said...

fixtexasparole.com is a website that shows how a family can join attorney Norman Sirak's class action lawsuit against the Texas parole board. The Interstate Corrections Compact (ICC) is an agreement betwen all 50 states that allows states to trade prisoners in order to help families visit incarcerated relatives more easily---Texas rarely uses this ICC agreement and this would make a good class action lawsuit for an attorney.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

On one occasion TDCJ supposedly sent an ex warden of theirs to serve time in Florida but the ICC is RARELY used by TDCJ---big construction budgets need big convict populations. If anybody is interested in TRYING to get their loved one sent to a prison in their home state you can call The Interstate Corrections Compact office in Huntsville on 936-437-8635 and ask Mr Frank Anizan how to apply. My brother, William Harrison, #864645, was turned down but don't let that stop you from trying. If enough people start to ask questions for a a change maybe TDCJ will figure out this could be a partial cure for over crowding.

Anonymous said...

Anybody familiar with this Normal Sirak person?

I have had many people ask me about him, because apparently he is sending out mail to people who are sex offenders.

I have a comment about him, on my blog, here:

Click Here

Has anybody ever used this man?

See the comments on the above link.

Anonymous said...

Forget about Sirak and his lawsuit---he is nothing but one big dead end and a waste of money. His suit was denied and there is some stuff coming out about him on the internet that really makes one wonder.

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Anonymous said...

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