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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Murder accomplice to die today; 'sidekick' pulled the trigger

UPDATE: Foster's life will be spared. Six hours before the inmate was supposed to die, the governor -- upholding a recommendation from the state board of pardon and paroles -- commuted his death sentence to life in prison instead.

Hat tip: Thanks for the update, G!

Good story from The New York Times on a young man scheduled to be executed today for his role as an accomplice in a street murder when he was 19.

The article begins:

HOUSTON, Aug. 29 — Kenneth Foster has a date on Thursday with the executioner’s needle. Not for killing anyone himself, but for what he was doing — and might have been thinking — the night in 1996 when he was 19 and a sidekick gunned down a San Antonio law student.

Ensnared in a Texas law that makes accomplices subject to the death penalty, Mr. Foster, 30, is to become the third death row inmate this week, and the 403rd since capital punishment resumed in Texas in 1982, to give his life for a life taken.

But unlike most others condemned to death in this state, Mr. Foster, a former gang member and aspiring musician and now a prison poet from San Antonio, is not a murderer in the usual sense. He was convicted and sentenced to die for abetting a killing — 80 feet away — that he might, or might not, have had reason to anticipate.

Read the rest here.

| Sara Shepherd

Hat tip goes to rhonda!


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