Gov. Rick Perry commutes sentence of Kenneth Foster to life in prison
Texas Death Row inmate Kenneth Foster's life was spared when Governor Rick Perry stopped his execution and reduced his sentence to life in prison. the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted by a 6-1 margin that Foster's sentences should be reduced.
"After carefully considering the facts of this case, along with the recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I believe the right and just decision is to commute Foster's sentence from the death penalty to life imprisonment," Gov. Perry said in a statement.
Former President Jimmy Carter and South Africa's Desmond Tutu were among the thousands who had petitioned Gov. Perry on Kenneth Foster's behalf. Foster told prison officials that he was surprised, "but I had faith he was going to do the right thing," according to prison system spokeswoman Michelle Lyons.
Perry used the fact that Foster -who drove the getaway car in the 1996 slaying of Michael LaHood Jr.– was tried at the same time as the triggerman Mauriceo Brown as the basis for his decision.
"After carefully considering the facts of this case, along with the recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I believe the right and just decision is to commute Foster's sentence," Perry said. "I am concerned about Texas law that allowed capital murder defendants to be tried simultaneously, and it is an issue I think the Legislature should examine."
Foster is still convicted of murder, and must serve at least 40 years before becoming eligible for parole. He arrived on death row July 1, 1997.
See Dallas Morning News Coverage here.
Austin American-Statesman Coverage here.
San Antonio Express-News Coverage here.