For immediate release: August 14, 2008
Scott Cobb, President
Texas Moratorium Network
Terri Been B.S., M. Ed, Sister of Jeff Wood
Kristin Wood, Wife of Jeff Wood
Jeff Wood's Attorney
Family Members of Jeff Wood to Deliver Letters and Petition Signatures to Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Friday, August 15
Rally and March to Save Jeff Wood From Execution August 16 at Noon in Austin, Texas
Jeff Wood Did Not Kill Anyone. He Was Convicted Under the "Law of Parties"
Kristin Wood and Terri Been will deliver letters and thousands of petition signatures urging clemency for Jeff Wood to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Friday, August 15, in Austin at 1:30 PM. Kristin is Jeff Wood's wife and Terri is his sister. One of the letters was written by State Rep Elliott Naishtat and co-signed by several other members of the Texas House of Representatives, including Austin legislators Eddie Rodriguez, Donna Howard and Mark Strama. Kristin and Terri will answer media questions about Jeff's case before and after deliviering the letters to the board. The media is welcome to video the delivery of the letters and petition signatures.
Rally and March to Save Jeff Wood on Saturday August 16 in Austin
A rally for Jeff Wood, who is waiting to die on Texas Death Row with an execution date of August 21st, 2008, will take place in Austin on Saturday, August 16, in front of the Texas Capitol on the sidewalk at 11th and Congress Avenue. The rally starts at noon. At 12:20, there will be a march down Congress Avenue to 6th Street and back to the Capitol. Speakers will address the rally both at noon and again when the participants return from marching down Congress Avenue.
Wood was sentenced to death under the "Law of Parties" for a murder he did not commit. The actual murderer was Daniel Reneau, who has already been executed by the state of Texas. Wood did not kill anyone and did not intend anyone to be killed. He did not know that Reneau would commit a murder.
What: "Save Jeff Wood" rally to stop the execution and urge clemency for Jeff Wood
Where: In front of The Capitol at 11th and Congress, Austin, Texas
When: Noon on Saturday August 16
Speakers Include: Terri Been, sister of Jeff Wood; Kristin Wood, wife of Jeff Wood; Danny Wood, father of Jeff Wood; plus representatives of Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Campaign to End the Death Penalty and others.
Last summer, Governor Perry commuted the death sentence of Kenneth Foster only hours before he was scheduled for execution. The Board of Pardons and Paroles had voted the day before to recommend clemency for Foster, who had been convicted under the "Law of Parties" even though he did not kill anyone. Now, Texas is set to execute another person who did not kill anyone but was sentenced to death under the Law of Parties.
The Coalition to Save Jeff Wood is asking the people of Texas to contact the governor and the Board of Pardons and Paroles and urge them to grant clemency to Jeff Wood, because he did not kill anyone. "Many Texans support the death penalty, but I do not believe that any reasonable person in Texas believes that a person like Jeff Wood should be executed who did not kill or intend to kill. Wood's sentence should be commuted just as Kenneth Foster's was commuted", said Scott Cobb of Texas Moratorium Network.
Charles Keeran, the father of Kris Keeran (the murder victim), has said that he does not want Wood executed and wants his sentence commuted to life in prison.
"Mr. Wood undeniably shares responsibility for what happened to Mr. Keeran, and should be held accountable for his reckless acts, but no man ever deserves to die for another man's acts," Wood's attorneys wrote in his petition to the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The 22-page petition can be read online by clicking here: http://texasdefender.org/
Everyone - including law enforcement and prosecutors alike - agree that Jeffrey Wood did not kill anyone during the January 2, 1996 incident for which he was sentenced to death. The undisputed facts are that Kris Keeran was shot and killed by Daniel Reneau. During the episode, Jeffery Wood did not and could not have known that Reneau would murder Keeran. In fact, Wood was not even inside the store at the time of the murder. Wood was outside sitting unarmed in a vehicle.
Daniel Reneau was convicted of the murder of Kris Keeran and Reneau was executed on June 13, 2002. When the robbery took place on the morning of January 2, 1996, Wood was under the impression that Reneau was going in to the store to get "road drinks and munchies." Although it is true that Wood and Reneau had talked about robbing the store at the behest of the manager of the store, Wood backed out of the idea. The robbery was supposed to take place on the 1st, but after Wood backed out, Reneau decided to go through with the robbery on the 2nd on his own initiative and made the decision to kill Kris Keeran on his own. Wood had no idea that a murder or a even a robbery was going to take place on the morning of the 2nd. Before Reneau and Wood left the house on the morning of the 2nd, Wood told Daniel Reneau to put the gun away, which he did in front of Wood, but Reneau pulled the gun out again when Wood went to the restroom.
At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Jan. 2, 1996, while Jeff Wood waited outside, Daniel Reneau entered the gas station with a gun and pointed it at Kris Keeran, the clerk standing behind the counter. Reneau ordered him to a back room. When he did not move quickly enough, Reneau fired one shot with a 22 caliber handgun that struck Keeran between the eyes. Death was almost instantaneous. Proceeding with the robbery, Reneau went into the back office and took a safe. After hearing the shot, Wood got out of the car to see what was going on. He walked by the door and looked through the glass. Then he went inside, looked over the counter and ran to the back, where Reneau was. Wood was then ordered by Reneau at gunpoint to get the surveillance video and to drive the getaway car. Earlier, Reneau had threatened to kill Wood's young daughter if anyone ever "ratted" on Reneau, so with a gun pointed at him and a man already having been shot, Wood complied with Reneau's orders.
* Wood suffers from severe mental, emotional and learning disabilities. He was abused and beaten severely and repeatedly as a child. He is submissive to more dominant personalities because of the abuse during his childhood.
* At trial, Wood was not satisfied with his representation. Wood asked to represent himself, but wasn't allowed to do so. The judge found him not capable of representing himself. The judge however, did not argue when Wood, in his diminished mental capacity, ordered his attorneys not to do anything during the punishment phase of his trial. The result was that Jeff had no witnesses during the punishment phase of his trial on his behalf. If his lawyers had been able to call witnesses during the penalty phase, the jury would have heard about Wood's mental problems and his abusive childhood and may not have sentenced him to death.
* The victim's father called the Governor of Texas on the day of Daniel Reneau's execution and urged the governor not to execute the person who actually killed his son, Daniel Reneau.
Visit the Save Jeff Wood website at www.savejeffwood.com for more information.