The nineteen-year-old Foster was driving a car with three passengers. One of the passengers got out and got in a fight with someone and shot and killed him, claiming self-defense. Because Kenneth Foster drove the car he was charged under Texas law as an equal participant and sentenced to die. If you drove a car and your passenger got out and killed someone and you knew nothing about it should you be executed? Foster was convicted under the Texas "law of parties," even though he never participated in, intended for or anticipated a murder.
The crazy thing about this case is that no one argues that Foster killed the victim. As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's award-winning columnist Bob Ray Sanders wrote, the case "is further proof of how cruel, capricious, unjust and utterly insane our death penalty laws have become....Because of this tainted system, whether you believe in capital punishment or not, a man who did not plan or commit a murder will die August 30 unless somebody -- a judge, the Board of Pardons and Paroles and/or the governor-- has the heart and the guts to stop it."Bob Ray Sanders:
"I've never tried to portray myself as an angel," Foster told me on a recent visit to Death Row. "I take responsibility. I was a follower. I was a fool for being there."
He added: "We're not saying I never did anything wrong; for this case, I did nothing wrong. I didn't conspire, I didn't participate, and I didn't plan."
Mauriceo Brown was executed for this crime on July 19, 2006. Foster's execution is set for Aug. 30.
Tags: Kenneth Foster