Saturday, August 11, 2007

Free Kenneth Foster

The state of Texas is going to kill a man who did not commit murder, and they admit it. Texas is the only state which can assign the death penalty against someone who was with a murderer but did not participate in a crime.

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 Nation:
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.


Anonymous said...

If someone in my car got out robbed and killed someone, I would drive off to a safe place, call the police and be a witness. I would not get talked into stopping and waiting for the murderer then transport him away from the area to safety.

The guy sitting in the car to drive the get away car during a bank robbery is just as guilty as the guys that go into the bank.

Whether or not this guy should get the death penalty for his actions or lack of action may be a questionable, but I think we are only hearing the anti-death penalty side of the story.

Gary said...

Texas did not charge him as an accessory, which does not carry the death penalty, but as an equal party to murder. It is the only state that can do that.

Kenneth had no idea that a murder would happen and it appears his crime was in letting the shooter back in his car.

I agree he should have been charged as an accessory.