Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jeff Wood case raises questions, reports Houston Chronicle

Write the governor and Board of Pardons and Paroles and urge them to grant Jeff Wood clemency.

Please call the Governor of Texas at 512-463-2000
Office of the Governor Fax: (512) 463-1849
Tell the Governor and the Board of Pardons and Paroles to Grant Clemency to Jeff Wood
Jeff is Scheduled for Execution Thursday, Aug 21, so CALL NOW!

The Houston Chronicle reports in "Case of non-triggerman set to die raises questions"

His lawyers don't dispute that convicted killer Jeffery Wood deserves punishment for his involvement in a robbery more than a dozen years ago where a clerk at a Texas Hill Country gas station convenience store was gunned down.

But Woods' attorneys and supporters argue he doesn't deserve to die for a murder that occurred while he was waiting in a car outside the store in Kerrville. They also point out that Daniel Reneau, the gunman who killed clerk Kriss Keeran with a fatal shot to the face, already has been executed.

"Someone answered for this in terms of the death penalty," attorney Scott Sullivan said. "A non-triggerman shouldn't get the death penalty."

Wood, who turned 35 Tuesday, was set for execution Thursday in a case that again put under scrutiny a unique Texas law that makes accomplices as culpable as the killer in a capital murder case.

Wood would be the ninth condemned prisoner put to death this year and the fifth this month in the nation's busiest capital punishment state. At least a dozen other Texas inmates have execution dates in the coming months.

Lawyers were in the courts seeking permission to hire mental health experts to pursue arguments that Wood is incompetent to be executed. They also were unsuccessful convincing the trial judge in the Wood's case to withdraw Thursday's execution date.

Sullivan said he would take the arguments to the appeals courts.

Attorneys also went to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles seeking clemency for Wood.

"For all the fault he does bear for Keeran's untimely death (Wood) does not deserve to die," they said in a petition to the board, which was expected to make a recommendation Tuesday to Gov. Rick Perry. "He has never taken a human life by his own hands."

Wood's case was being compared to another convicted Texas killer, Kenneth Foster, whose death sentence was commuted a year ago by Perry. Foster also was condemned under the law of parties, although Perry's explanation for commuting Foster's sentence to life in prison was that Foster and his co-defendant were tried together on capital murder charges for a slaying in San Antonio.

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