Friday, August 03, 2007

Kenneth Foster, Jr. is scheduled to die

His crime is for being with a murderer. Texas is one of the very few states that gives the death penalty for someone at the scene of the crime who wasn't involved. Here a friend of the victim, Sean-Paul Kelley, remembers him but says this execution is wrong and he will try to help stop it.

The report on the state of Texas death penalty system:
In this report, we have assembled an unprecedented volume of objective evidence that raises profound questions about the fairness of how and when the death penalty is applied. We articulate the scope and breadth of the underlying problems, and offer preliminary recommendations for change. We confirm the critical need for a thorough investigation of every capital case, and we show that all too often, such an investigation either does not take place, or takes place too late for the courts to consider it. In short, we lay bare a system in desperate need of reform. We urge all who are committed to justice to read our report thoughtfully. It compels the conclusion, reached by increasing numbers of Americans, that our current method of enforcing the death penalty does violence to the ideal of basic fairness that is supposed to be the foundation of our criminal justice system.
Now and then the conservative U.S. Supreme Court corrects one of the many gross abuses in Texas. They recently ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that Texas could not execute an insane person. That marks the fifth time the Supreme Court has reversed a Texas death penalty since last October. The Supreme Court’s ruling also drew attention once more to the shoddy standards of capital justice here in Texas. We account for more than a third of national executions and have routinely ignored international standards in sending prisoners to the death chamber.

Did you know?
Texas' death penalty law prevents judges and lawyers from telling jurors one key point: if just one juror decides the defendant is not a "future danger" the defendant will receive a sentence of life without parole.

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