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Monday, July 30, 2007

Roundtable discussion with Kenneth Foster, Jr's Family & Friends

FIGHTING TO SAVE KENNETH FOSTER JR.
Family Members Speak Out !

Tuesday, August 14 at 6:30 PM
Carver Library
At Rosewood Ave. and Angelina St.

A Roundtable Featuring:

Kenneth Foster Sr. - Father of Kenneth Foster, Jr.
Beverly Fisher - First Cousin of Kenneth Foster, Jr.
Sandra Reed - Mother of Death Row Prisoner Rodney Reed
Jeannine Scott - Wife of Texas Prisoner Michael Scott
Delia Perez Meyer - Sister of Death Row Prisoner Louis Castro Perez

Kenneth faces an August 30th execution date. Family members discuss
the case and how to stop this and all executions !

Sponsored by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty
For more info contact cedpaustin@gmail.com or call 494-0667

SAVE KENNETH FOSTER ! ---

INNOCENT MAN FACES EXECUTION ON AUGUST 30

RESOURCES ON THE WEB

Kenneth's web site:
http://www.freekenneth.com

Latest news and updates:
http://savekenneth.blogspot.com

Bryan McCann article in Socialist Worker:
http://www.socialistworker.org/2007-2/637/637_16_Foster.shtml

Interview with Bryan McCann on CounterPunch:
http://counterpunch.org/jacobs07042007.html

Jordan Smith article on Kenneth in the Austin Chronicle:
http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A499233

CONTACT THE GOVERNOR¹S OFFICE
Tell Perry: Don't let Texas execute Kenneth Foster for driving a car !

Tel.: (512) 463-1782
Fax: (512) 463-1849
To Email, send message from the website:
http://www.governor.state.tx.us/contact

SIGN AN ON-LINE PETITION:
http://www.petitiononline.com/ee88911/petition.html

ORGANIZING MEETINGS IN AUSTIN EVERY WEDNESDAY:
For more info: cedpaustin@gmail.com

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

TONIGHT - Saturday July 28 - Come to the TMN Benefit in Austin

WHO: Texas Moratorium Network
WHAT: "It Came From Austin!!!!" - A Benefit for Texas Moratorium Network and the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign
WHEN: Saturday July 28, 2007 - 8:00 PM
WHERE: The Scoot Inn, 1308 E. 4th, Austin TX 78702 www.eastinns.com
ADMISSION: $5-$10 sliding scale, 21+

You should really come, if you are in Austin. It will be great fun! The bands
are varied and very popular.

If you don't live in Austin or can't come, you can also donate online to the benefit through paypal or through the TMN website's regular
donation page
.

You can also send a check made out to TMN, 3616 Far West Blvd,
Suite 117, Box 251, Austin, Tx, 78731. Thank you for your help!


Fifty percent of tonight's donations go to the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign.


Backward Texas law may make man pay with life for deed he didn't do
EDITORIAL BOARD
Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen
Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kenneth Foster didn't commit murder. But that won't stop the State of Texas from executing the Austin native Aug. 30.

It was Mauriceo Brown who shot and killed Michael LaHood in San Antonio 12 years ago — not Foster. Even the prosecution agrees that Foster was 85 feet away from the murder scene. But because of the Texas Law of Parties, that simply does not matter.

Under the 33-year-old law of parties, a person can be held responsible for a crime committed by someone else. According to the law, Foster "should have anticipated" that Brown would commit murder.

Though the law has its supporters, the application in the Foster case highlights flaws.

Only a few states have a law of parties as severe as Texas and no other state applies it as frequently to capital murder cases as Texas. About 80 inmates are on death row awaiting execution under the law of parties. They may not have done the actual killing, but they were along for the ride.

In a case similar to Foster's, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment "does not allow the death penalty for a person who is a minor participant in a felony and does not kill, attempt to kill, or intend to kill."

New testimony shows Foster didn't play a major role in the shooting that took the life of LaHood on Aug. 14, 1996.

In the original trial, Foster's court-appointed lawyer failed to bring up key points that might have vindicated Foster. The same lawyer submitted a 20-page appellate brief in the Foster case — laughably short for a death penalty case. The lawyer also failed to pursue key testimony.

When Keith Hampton, an Austin lawyer skilled in criminal appellate work, took over Foster's case, he remembers thinking, "Wait a minute, this guy is on death row?" He uncovered new testimony that ultimately won a stay in Foster's case. Unfortunately, the ruling was overturned by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Foster was no angel. He and three other men in the car — Brown, Julius Steen and Dwayne Dillard — had committed two armed robberies earlier that night. But the new testimony from Steen and Dillard shows that the men had no role in planning or carrying out a murder.

According to Steen and Dillard, Foster repeatedly pleaded with them and Brown, while in the car, to return home before they encountered LaHood. He also tried to drive away when he heard the gunshots, but Steen and Dillard made him stop and wait for Brown, who was executed for his part in the crime last year.

With a month left until Foster's scheduled execution, his supporters are left with two options: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals must rule in favor of Foster, or the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles must recommend commuting Foster's sentence. If the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends commutation, Gov. Rick Perry decides Foster's fate.

Considering Perry's track record on commuting executions, it is unlikely that Perry will decide in favor of Foster, even though he should.

Neither the governor nor the Court of Criminal Appeals should allow the state to execute a man for a crime someone else committed. Foster should be punished for his part in the robberies. But the state shouldn't take his life for failing to anticipate that his friend would commit murder.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Statesman Says Stop Kenneth Foster Execution; Come to the Benefit July 28

One week after a large rally and march by Kenneth Foster's family, friends and supporters, the Austin American Statesman is calling for Texas to stop the execution of Foster. Congratulations to everyone who has been fighting as part of the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign.

If you would like to help, we are having a benefit Saturday, July 28, in Austin at The Scoot Inn.

WHO: Texas Moratorium Network
WHAT: "It Came From Austin!!!!" - A Benefit for Texas Moratorium Network and the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign
WHEN: Saturday July 28, 2007 - 8:00 PM
WHERE: The Scoot Inn, 1308 E. 4th, Austin TX 78702 www.eastinns.com
ADMISSION: $5-$10 sliding scale, 21+

Backward Texas law may make man pay with life for deed he didn't do
EDITORIAL BOARD
Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen
Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kenneth Foster didn't commit murder. But that won't stop the State of Texas from executing the Austin native Aug. 30.

It was Mauriceo Brown who shot and killed Michael LaHood in San Antonio 12 years ago — not Foster. Even the prosecution agrees that Foster was 85 feet away from the murder scene. But because of the Texas Law of Parties, that simply does not matter.

Under the 33-year-old law of parties, a person can be held responsible for a crime committed by someone else. According to the law, Foster "should have anticipated" that Brown would commit murder.

Though the law has its supporters, the application in the Foster case highlights flaws.

Only a few states have a law of parties as severe as Texas and no other state applies it as frequently to capital murder cases as Texas. About 80 inmates are on death row awaiting execution under the law of parties. They may not have done the actual killing, but they were along for the ride.

In a case similar to Foster's, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment "does not allow the death penalty for a person who is a minor participant in a felony and does not kill, attempt to kill, or intend to kill."

New testimony shows Foster didn't play a major role in the shooting that took the life of LaHood on Aug. 14, 1996.

In the original trial, Foster's court-appointed lawyer failed to bring up key points that might have vindicated Foster. The same lawyer submitted a 20-page appellate brief in the Foster case — laughably short for a death penalty case. The lawyer also failed to pursue key testimony.

When Keith Hampton, an Austin lawyer skilled in criminal appellate work, took over Foster's case, he remembers thinking, "Wait a minute, this guy is on death row?" He uncovered new testimony that ultimately won a stay in Foster's case. Unfortunately, the ruling was overturned by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Foster was no angel. He and three other men in the car — Brown, Julius Steen and Dwayne Dillard — had committed two armed robberies earlier that night. But the new testimony from Steen and Dillard shows that the men had no role in planning or carrying out a murder.

According to Steen and Dillard, Foster repeatedly pleaded with them and Brown, while in the car, to return home before they encountered LaHood. He also tried to drive away when he heard the gunshots, but Steen and Dillard made him stop and wait for Brown, who was executed for his part in the crime last year.

With a month left until Foster's scheduled execution, his supporters are left with two options: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals must rule in favor of Foster, or the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles must recommend commuting Foster's sentence. If the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends commutation, Gov. Rick Perry decides Foster's fate.

Considering Perry's track record on commuting executions, it is unlikely that Perry will decide in favor of Foster, even though he should.

Neither the governor nor the Court of Criminal Appeals should allow the state to execute a man for a crime someone else committed. Foster should be punished for his part in the robberies. But the state shouldn't take his life for failing to anticipate that his friend would commit murder.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Freedom Files Episode on Death Penalty with Jeanette Popp from Texas

Watch this 3-minute preview clip from "Freedom to Live: The Death Penalty" part of Season Two of The Freedom Files.

The clip features, among others, Jeanette Popp, whose daughter was murdered in Austin. Jeanette met with her daughter's killer when he was in Travis County's jail and begged him to accept a life in prison sentence because her daughter opposed the death penalty, as does Jeanette.

In “Freedom to Live: The Death Penalty,” the compelling stories of people personally affected by the U.S.’s death penalty system offer a unique window into the system’s unfairness and inhumanity. Their firsthand accounts show how the system executes people for crimes they did not commit, and sends mentally ill people who can’t even recall their crimes to their deaths. They also reveal a system that burdens the poor with abysmal legal counsel, deprives prisoners forever of an opportunity for redemption and reformation, and does nothing to help survivors in their healing process.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

398 Executions in Texas; Zero Executions in Wisconsin

Today, Lonnie Johnson became the 100th person executed after being given a death sentence by a Harris County jury. The total for Harris County is more than any other state except Texas, where Johnson would be 398th convicted killer to receive lethal injection since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982. The state with the second highest number of executions is Virgina with 98.

So far in 2007, 19 people have been executed in Texas. Oklahoma, Ohio and Indiana have each had two executions in 2007. Six other states have executed one person each.

Despite the enormous number of executions in Texas compared to other states, the national anti-death penalty leadership continues to send major funding to fight the death penalty in states that do not even have the death penalty, such as Wisconsin and Iowa, which received $50,000 and $20,000 from the Tides Death Penalty Mobilization Fund in late 2006. In 2007, Wisconsin and Iowa continue not to have the death penalty.

Meanwhile Judge Carven Angel of Florida's Circuit Court has ordered a halt to executions because of concerns that the state's new lethal injection protocols do not adequately address problems exposed in the state's last execution. The new protocols were created after Florida's botched execution of Angel Diaz in December 2006. The execution took more than 30 minutes after two tries, and then-governor Jeb Bush ordered a review of the process. Judge Angel's oral order to stop executions came on Sunday, July 22, after he abruptly shut down a week-long hearing in which defense attorneys for Ian Lightbourne and dozens of other clients on death row were challenging the new protocols.

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Benefit for TMN on July 28 in Austin



WHO: Texas Moratorium Network
WHAT: "It Came From Austin!!!!" - A Benefit for Texas Moratorium Network and the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign
WHEN: Saturday July 28, 2007 - 8:00 PM
WHERE: The Scoot Inn, 1308 E. 4th, Austin TX 78702
www.eastinns.com
ADMISSION: $5-$10 sliding scale, 21+

AUSTIN, TX - Texas Moratorium Network (TMN) is holding a benefit show to help raise awareness of current death penalty issues in Texas, raise money to fight the death penalty and gain new members. The benefit is July 28 in Austin at the Scoot Inn. Doors open at 8 PM.

Fifty percent of the proceeds of the benefit will be donated to the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign. The State of Texas intends to execute Kenneth Foster on August 30, despite the fact that he did not murder anyone. Unlike any other state in this country, Texas utilizes a unique statute called the Law of Parties which allows the State to subject a person to death even though he did not kill, intend to kill, help or encourage anyone to do so.

The other fifty percent of the proceeds will be used for the 8th Annual March to Stop Executions in Houston on October 27.

Several Austin performers will participate, including the Austin Chronicle's winner of 2006 BEST NEW BAND, the Texas Sapphires. There will also be clowns, dancers, and various other performances.

The show's sponsors have donated various products and services which will be raffled to attendees. Diablo Rojo, The Boiling Pot, Antone's Records and Epoch Coffee will be donating gift certificates.

Bands and Performers:
www.thetexassapphires.com
www.invincibleczars.com
www.myspace.com/diasporic
www.laurascarborough.com
www.dampheat.com

Sponsors:
www.diablo-rojo.com
www.theboilingpot.ypguides.net
www.eastsidepies.com
www.epochcoffee.com
www.antonesrecordshop.homestead.com
www.motorblade.com

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Harris County: "One County, 100 executions"

If Lonnie Johnson is executed today, he will be the 100th person executed from Harris County. Click here to write Governor Perry to protest this execution. We are hoping that he will get a stay, because it is likely that Johnson, who is African-American, may have acted in self-defense after being the victim of a hate crime.

Amnesty International has published a report on Harris County. Here is a link to a PDF file of the entire report:

One county, 100 executions
Harris County and Texas -- A lethal combination
"One of the cruelest anomalies of the modern system of capital punishment: Geography means everything", Houston Chronicle.

In 1969, "Houston" became the first word to be spoken by a human being on the moon, beginning astronaut Neil Armstrong's famous message back to earth. Four decades later, the City of Houston, or rather Harris County where both the city and NASA's Johnson Space Center are located, has gained international notoriety for something that pushes the boundaries of human decency rather than space exploration.

For, while Texas is the execution centre of the USA, Harris County is that state's main supplier of condemned human beings. This is a lethally symbiotic relationship that helps to create geographic bias in the US capital justice system on a grand scale.

Harris County is the third largest county in the United States, with a population of a little under four million inhabitants, or about 1.3 per cent of the US population. Between one and two per cent of the USA's murders each year occur in Harris County. About four per cent of the country's current death row inmates were tried in Harris County. Nine per cent of the men and 18 per cent of the women executed in the United States since judicial killing resumed there in 1977 were condemned to death in Harris County.

Ninety-seven men and two women prosecuted in Harris County have been put to death since Texas carried out its first execution of the "modern" era in 1982. At the time of writing, Lonnie Johnson was set to become the 100th such prisoner to be put to death, his execution scheduled for 24 July 2007. Johnny Connor was set to become the 101st on 22 August and Michael Richards the 102nd on 25 September.

If Harris County was a state, it would rank 26th in population among the US states, one above Oregon. Oregon has executed two people since 1977, both of whom had given up their appeals. There are about three of four times as many murders each year in Harris County as there are in Oregon, but Harris County accounts for 50 times as many executions as that west coast state. Indeed, if Harris County was a state, it would rank second only to Texas in the number of executions carried out since 1977.

Donwload the complete 15 page report: One county, 100 executions

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Protest at home of Harris County DA on County's 100th Execution

The Committee for the October 27th 8th Annual March to Stop Executions is announcing a press conference and picket at the home of Harris County's District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 7 PM, one hour after Lonnie Johnson is set to be executed in Huntsville.

Johnson's execution, if not delayed, will be Harris county's 100th execution since executions were resumed in Texas in 1982.

Harris county, if it were a state would be Number Two in the country for executions, following the state of Texas. Number Three is the state of Virginia.

Please read the article from today's Houston Chronicle and following it an excellent report on Harris County by Amnesty International.

Then make plans to join us on the tree-lined sidewalk in front of Chuck Rosenthal's home at 7723 Pagewood. The home is three blocks west of Hillcroft and three blocks south of Richmond, in between Hillcroft and Stoneybrook.

Invited speakers for the press conference are Assistant Minister Eric Muhammad with Nation of Islam Mosque 45, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Harris County Green Party, the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, prison activist Ray Hill, producer of S.O.S. Radio Brother Zin and the family of Michael Richard, a mentally retarded man set for execution on September 25.

July 22, 2007, 8:40PM
Tomball killer is set to be executed Tuesday
Case again focuses attention on race relations in community

By ALLAN TURNER
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

Midnight came, midnight went and downtown Tomball seemed dead as dead could be. From her post at the Stop N Go's cash register, Tammy Wynette Durham scanned the bleak scene, enlivened only by the lights of an occasional passing car. Then, about 1:30 a.m., she noticed something that frightened her: a lone black man loitering at the store's front with his hand concealed beneath a newspaper.

Durham, alone in the store, telephoned her friend Gunar "Bubba" Fulk, 16, and asked him to keep her company. Minutes later, Fulk, a strapping 6-foot-plus Magnolia High football player, and his friend Leroy "Punkin'" McCaffrey, 17, pulled into the parking lot.

The teens talked to the man — later identified as Lonnie Earl Johnson — then told Durham they were giving the seemingly stranded motorist a ride.

Four hours later, about 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 15, 1990, a motorist spotted Fulk's body beside FM 2920, about four miles from the store. He had been shot three times in the head and once in the chest. McCaffrey's corpse was found 350 feet away.

Detectives traced Johnson to Austin, where he was arrested at a topless bar Aug. 30. Although the Tomball landscape worker said he killed the teens in self-defense, a Harris County jury found him guilty of capital murder and sentenced him to die.

Barring favorable action on last-minute appeals accusing prosecutors of illegally withholding crucial information from defense attorneys, Johnson, 44, will be executed Tuesday. In a recent death row interview, Johnson likened himself to James Byrd Jr., the 49-year-old Jasper man whose racially motivated dragging death in 1998 gained international notoriety.

"The only difference between me and James Byrd," Johnson said, "is that I lived."

The case, which has attracted interest from as far away as Canada, again focuses attention on race relations in the tiny northwest Harris County community, which two years ago hosted a Ku Klux Klan function in a city-owned building.

Racially charged period

The Tomball murders occurred during a racially charged summer as a campaign in neighboring Montgomery County to free Clarence Brandley from death row moved toward success. Brandley, a black high school janitor condemned for the 1980 rape-strangulation of a 16-year-old white student, was released from prison after almost 10 years.
Austin attorney Jodi Callaway Cole last week launched an appeals strategy at state and federal levels arguing that prosecutors withheld investigators' reports and other documents that could have buttressed Johnson's claim of self-defense.

Read the rest of the article

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Media Coverage of Kenneth Foster Rally

The rally for Kenneth Foster last Saturday was probably the best, most well-attended, high energy protest of a pending execution in Texas since the Gary Graham protests back in 2000. Here is a link to a video on Austin's KXAN. It includes an interview with Foster's father.

The Daily Texan had this to say:

Friends, family and fervent activists against the death penalty marched down Congress Avenue on Saturday and gathered in front of the Governor's Mansion to demand that the state not execute Kenneth Foster Jr.

"This case seemed to be an opportunity not only save Kenneth Foster, who is a magnificent human being, but to actually turn the tide in Texas," said Dana Cloud, UT associate professor and anti-death penalty activist.

On Aug. 30, Foster is scheduled to be executed for the 1996 murder of Michael LaHood Jr. Keith Hampton, Foster's criminal lawyer, says his client was more than 80 feet away when LaHood was fatally shot by Mauriceo Brown.

Brown, Foster, Julius Steen and Dewayne Dillard were all in Foster's car, and there was a gun in the vehicle. They had robbed several people at gunpoint during the night of the murder. Brown himself was trying to rob LaHood when he shot LaHood and ran to Foster's car. Since Foster was a willing accomplice in the robberies, the court found him guilty of attempting to rob LaHood, which inevitably led to his death.

"He did not hurt anybody, and he's not going to," said Foster's 11-year-old daughter, Nydesha.


New 8 Austin says:
A man who never killed anyone but was present when another man did more than 10 years ago in San Antonio is set to die by lethal injection on Aug. 30.

On Saturday, Kenneth Foster's family and supporters gathered at the State Capitol and the Governor's Mansion to protest his death row sentence.

When Lawrence Foster heard the verdict handed down to his grandson, he couldn't believe it.

"This can't happen. This can't be true. He should not be responsible for the actions of another individual, especially when he did not know what the intention of the other individual was," he said.
There is also a video on the News 8 Austin site, so when you go there scroll down to launch the video.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Texas to execute man in case involving evidence suppression and self-defense: Lonnie Johnson

The state of Texas is scheduled to execute Lonnie Johnson on July 24, 2007. Johnson was sentenced to death for the August 1990 murders of Gunar Nelson Fulk and Leroy McCaffrey. Johnson argues that he acted in self-defense.

Click here to send Governor Perry an email urging him to stop the execution of Lonnie Johnson.

Excerpt from Johnson's latest writ of habeas corpus and motion for a stay:

Although Lonnie Johnson maintained from the outset that he was the victim of an assault and acted only in self-defense, Mr. Johnson was convicted of an unprovoked murder/robbery, allegedly committed because the victims owed Mr. Johnson money. At trial, the State manipulated the evidence in order to support its theory of the case and concealed evidence inconsistent with its presentation of the case to the jury.

For example, the jury was led to believe that Mr. Johnson was carrying a gun on the evening of the crime but new evidence demonstrates that -- consistent with Mr. Johnson's statements -- the gun belonged to the victims. This new revelation renders Mr. Johnson's statements that the decedents pulled a gun on him more plausible than the State's theory that Mr. Johnson was the aggressor.

Further doubt is cast on the gun evidence because, unbeknownst to the defense and jury, the gun allegedly sold by Mr. Johnson and then recovered by the police was broken and inoperable, which casts graves doubt on the testimony by now-discredited HPD ballistics examiner Robert Baldwin that he test fired the weapon and matched it to the bullets recovered from the victims.

Likewise, the police knew but did not disclose that the decedents' relatives and friends had been involved in a series of racially-motivated attacks and counter-attacks immediately before and after the incident. It is now clear that contrary to the State's presentation at trial, placed in context, the assault in this case was one of many racially-motivated attacks in the area. Earlier in the evening, two young white men argued with two young black men at the Texaco, across the street from the Stop N Go where the decedents met and offered Mr. Johnson a ride.

Days after the death of decedents, a truck full of younger, unrelated black men fired at a vehicle containing the brother of one of the decedents, the Stop N Go clerk, and a young woman that decedents visited on the night of their deaths. Because the State withheld from the defense the information necessary to give the jury an accurate picture of the series of events in which this case arose, Mr. Johnson was convicted based on a deeply flawed picture of the facts.


In addition to sending Gov Perry an email, you can leave him a phone message at: 512-463-2000, fax him at 512-463-1849 (his fax line is often busy, so just keep trying) or write him at:

Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

You can also contact Governor Perry through his online contact form.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

TMN Benefit July 28 at The Scoot Inn in Austin. Help Us Stop Executions in Texas

WHO: Texas Moratorium Network
WHAT: "It Came From Austin!!!!" - A Benefit for Texas Moratorium Network and the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign
WHEN: Saturday July 28, 2007 - 8:00 PM
WHERE: The Scoot Inn, 1308 E. 4th, Austin TX 78702
www.eastinns.com
ADMISSION: $5-$10 sliding scale, 21+


TEXAS MORATORIUM NETWORK PRESENTS
"IT CAME FROM AUSTIN", A LIVE
MUSIC/PERFORMANCE BENEFIT
SHOWCASE TO RAISE AWARENESS OF TEXAS DEATH

PENALTY ISSUES.

AUSTIN, TX - Texas Moratorium Network (TMN) is holding a benefit
show to help raise awareness of current death penalty issues in Texas,
raise money to fight the death penalty and gain new members. The benefit
is July 28 in Austin at the Scoot Inn. Show starts at 8 PM.

Fifty percent of the proceeds of the benefit will be donated to the
Save Kenneth Foster Campaign. The State of Texas intends to execute
Kenneth Foster on August 30, despite the fact that he did not murder
anyone. Unlike any other state in this country, Texas utilizes a unique
statute called the Law of Parties which allows the State to subject a
person to death even though he did not kill, intend to kill, help or
encourage anyone to do so.

The other fifty percent of the proceeds will be used for the 8th Annual
March to Stop Executions in Houston on October 27.

Several Austin performers will participate, including the Austin
Chronicle's winner of 2006 BEST NEW BAND, the Texas Sapphires. There will
also be clowns, dancers, and various other performances.

The show's sponsors have donated various products and services which will
be raffled to attendees. Diablo Rojo, The Boiling Pot, Antone's Records
and Epoch Coffee will be donating gift certificates.

EastSide Pies will also donate pizza for attendees.

Bands and Performers:
-----------------------------
www.thetexassapphires.com
www.invincibleczars.com
www.myspace.com/diasporic
www.laurascarborough.com
www.dampheat.com

Sponsors:
--------------
www.diablo-rojo.com
www.theboilingpot.ypguides.net
www.eastsidepies.com
www.epochcoffee.com
www.antonesrecordshop.homestead.com
www.motorblade.com

CONTACT:
Crystal Caviel, Projects Director
512.945.1020
email: Gunstreetgirl@riseup.net
www.texasmoratorium.org

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Rally and March for Kenneth Foster July 21 in Austin

The State of Texas intends to execute Kenneth Foster on August 30, despite the fact that he did not murder anyone. Unlike any other state in this country, Texas utilizes a unique statute called the Law of Parties, which allows the State to subject a person to death even though he did not kill, intend to kill, help or encourage anyone to do so. The Austin Chronicle has an article explaining how new evidence should exonerate Foster as a responsible party to the murder.

RALLY AND MARCH IN AUSTIN
Saturday, July 21, 5:00 PM
Texas State Capitol, south steps

On July 21, join Kenneth's friends, family and supporters for a march
and rally with speakers, live music, and food to demand that Texas does not
go through with the execution.

Some Speakers and Performers include:

Tasha Foster - Wife of Kenneth Foster and Hip Hop Performer
Nydesha Foster - Daughter of Kenneth Foster
Shujaa Graham - Exonerated Death Row Inmate from D.C.
Welfare Poets - Politically Conscious Music from NY, myspace.com/welfarepoets
Mario Africa - With MOVE, Activist from Philadelphia
Darby Tillis - Exonerated Death Row Prisoner and Blues Musician from Chicago

Plus many more!

More info: cedpaustin@gmail.com
More info about Kenneth¹s situation: http://www.freekenneth.com

******************************

National call-in / fax day on Friday, July 20
Contact Gov. Perry and tell him, "Don't execute Kenneth Foster, Jr.!"

Tel (800) 252-9600 (Texas callers)
(512) 463-1782 (Austin and out of state)
Fax (512) 463-1849

************************************
Join the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign
Get involved with our letter and petition drive and help organize
events for Kenneth. Come to our weekly meeting ever Wednesday at
various local libraries. This Week:

Wednesday, July 17 at 7PM
Cepeda Branch Library at Pleasant Valley and East 7th Street
************************************
Facing execution for driving a car

THE STATE of Texas plans to execute Kenneth Foster Jr. August 30 for
the 1996 murder of Michael LaHood Jr.


What makes Foster's case unique is that he killed no one--and the state of
Texas is first to admit this.

How is this possible? Texas' Law of Parties, adopted in 1974, allows
prosecutors to hold all those present legally responsible for a crime.
Because Foster was driving the car carrying Mauriceo Brown the night Brown
shot LaHood, prosecutors were able to try Kenneth as if he was the
shooter.

Brown, who was executed in July 2006, admitted to shooting LaHood, but
claimed it was in self-defense. He also insisted that Foster, who remained
in a car 80 feet away from the shooting with the radio on and windows
rolled up, didn't know he had left the car with the gun.


What you can do

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty will hold a July 20 phone/fax blast to Gov.
Rick Perry's office. Call 800-252-9600 (Texas callers) or 512-463-1782
(Austin and out of state), and send faxes to
512-463-1849.

A rally is planned for July 21 at 6pm at the state capital building in Austin.

For more information on Kenneth's case and the struggle of Texas death row
prisoners against executions and rotten conditions, see the Free Kenneth
Foster and DRIVE Movement Web sites.

You can also write Kenneth to voice your support:

Kenneth Foster Jr.

#999232
Polunsky Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, TX 77351


In addition to being railroaded onto death row by the Law of Parties,
Kenneth is a founding member of the Death Row Inner-Communalist Vanguard
Engagement (DRIVE), a group of brave death row inmates who organize
protests for abolition and better living conditions on Texas' death row.

As Kenneth says, "We are neither violent nor passive. We are combative. We
are resisters. We are diverse activists, but more than anything else, may
we be looked upon as men who embraced the sacredness of life and sought to
assert the full measure of their humanity in the face of those that would
seek to destroy it."

Last week, Kenneth's criminal lawyer, Keith Hampton, submitted a new
appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. If the court refuses to
grant Kenneth relief, his supporters will then turn to the Board of
Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Rick Perry for clemency.

After Kenneth's execution date was announced in May, a broad coalition
called the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign was formed. The Austin and Corpus
Christi
chapters of Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP), along with
Kenneth's family and lawyers, as well as other anti-death penalty groups,
have been holding weekly meetings to build a movement around this case.

The coalition held a petition and literature table at Austin's Juneteenth
festival on June 19. This annual commemoration of emancipation from
slavery provided an excellent opportunity to reach out to the community.
The coalition got over 200 signatures on the petition to the Court of
Criminal Appeals.

Texas is on track to perform its 400th execution since 1982 this summer.
The case of Kenneth Foster Jr.--a Black man sent to death row for driving
a car--is a testament to how rotten Texas's machinery of death truly is.

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