Politics

1000 Words

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I’m changing the “Pics of the Week” section in the footer to “1000 Words.” I think it has a nicer ring to it and I’m going to be highlighting a new pic each day and sharing the story behind it.

Today we have the story of Kenneth Foster, a death row inmate in Texas who surprisingly got a commutation of his death sentence last week…

From his cell on death row, Kenneth Foster didn’t pretend to be an innocent. In 1996, Foster drove the car in a nighttime crime spree, ferrying friends to two armed robberies before following a pair of cars into a neighborhood. After Foster’s companion got out and shot one of the drivers, the 19-year-old Foster whisked the murderer and his other passengers from the scene.

Repugnant though they are, Foster’s crimes did not include the murder of Michael LaHood, a 25-year-old law student. Through an unprecedented turn of events, Foster Thursday narrowly escaped dying for that murder. To the surprise of many, Gov. Rick Perry heeded the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Foster’s sentence to life.

The governor’s decision did not, however, arise from the “law of parties” — the unique Texas law that holds all participants in a capital crime equally culpable, if it can be proved they “should have anticipated” the fatal outcome. The advocates for reducing Foster’s sentence included 13 members of the Legislature, most of whom argued that Foster had no idea a shooting would take place. Foster and his co-defendants testified that while Foster knew of the previous crimes that night, he didn’t anticipate murder.

Pictured above is Kenneth’s father and wife. You can find more pictures and stories at the bottom of the page.