Peter Rothberg wrote about Jeff Wood in his blog at The Nation magazine today. Last summer, Peter also wrote about Kenneth Foster, saying "from any humane perspective state-sponsored killing of people we know did not commit murder should be way beyond the pale."
Save Jeff Wood
posted by Peter Rothberg on 06/30/2008 @ 3:41pm
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Foster was convicted under Texas' notorious Law of Parties, under which the distinction between principal actor and accomplice in a crime is abolished. The law can impose the death penalty on anybody involved in a crime where a murder occurred whether a person had anything to do with the murder or not. (Texas is the only state that applies this statute in capital cases, making it the only place in the United States where a person can be factually innocent of murder and still face the death penalty.)
Now, Jeff Wood faces similar straits on Texas death row with an execution date of August 21. Having no prior criminal record, Wood was convicted and sentenced to die for killing a convenience store clerk during a January 1996 robbery in Kerrville, TX under the "Law of Parties." Wood was not the shooter in this case and he can reasonably claim that he had no idea that a murder would occur during what he says was meant to be a gas station robbery. The actual shooter in this case -- Daniel Earl Reneau -- was executed by the state of Texas more than six years ago.