Thursday, August 30, 2007

VICTORY!!!!

August 30, 2007

Movement to Save Kenneth Foster Wins Historic Victory

Family members and supporters of Kenneth Foster, Jr. are jubilant in the reaction to Texas Governor Rick Perry's today's announcement today that he would commute the death sentence of Kenneth Foster, who was convicted under the controversial "Law of Parties" for a 1996 murder in which he had no actual involvement. The Board of Pardons and Paroles had recommened clemency by a vote of 6-1. Foster's execution had been scheduled for tonight.

In a statement announcing the commutation, 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."

Reaction among Foster's family and friends included both joy and disbelief. “We felt a bit of disbelief because Perry’s decision was so unprecedented.” said Dana Cloud of the Save Kenneth Foster campaign. “But everyone is so happy that Kenneth will be able to touch his wife and daughter and that we have a chance of seeing him free. Anything is possible when you are alive.”

Claire Dube, a close high-school friend of Kenneth’s and an active member of the Save Kenneth Foster Campaign, broke into tears when she heard the news. “We don’t even know what to say. It’s incredible.”

Keith Hampton, Foster’s attorney, also expressed relief and happiness at winning his client’s life. Hampton thanked the activists of the grassroots movement that started in Austin and spread around the world for putting the necessary pressure on the Board and the Governor to win. “Extra-legal means work,” he said.

“Governor Perry once said that there was no hue and cry against the death penalty in Texas,” commented Lily Hughes of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. “Well, here was your hue and cry.”

Foster’s family and other supporters will continue to work to free him from prison. “It seems like ten years on death row under 23-hour lockdown could amount to time served for any crime that Kenneth ever committed,” Cloud said.

Perry’s decision is historic. Not only has the Board of Pardons and Paroles rarely recommended clemency (by one count, 3 times since 1982), but Rick Perry has overseen more executions than any Governor of the State of Texas, including George Bush.

“This case demonstrated to the world just how arbitrary and capricious capital punishment is,” Cloud said. “It gives people pause when someone who killed no one could come this close to being executed.”

“Public sentiment has been turning against capital punishment,” Hughes said. “We’ve seen a lot of states stop executing people. Winning Kenneth’s life might be a real turning point in the history of the death penalty in Texas.”

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34 comments:

heather said...

I am so very happy that the executive office, legislature, and board of pardons and paroles was willing to listen to the concerns of many Texans as well as the citizens of many other states and countries. It is a historic moment for justice and fairness in the history of Texas capital punishment.

Fried Catfish said...

I am unable to stop crying...I became so emotionally involved in this particular case. I never, ever in my life thought I would commend or thank Perry for something, but a thank you email is about to be sent to him. So is this life with the possibility of parole? Congratulations Kenneth and your family...I have no idea what you all must be feeling right now.

Bootzy said...

Wow, I am amazed and delighted. I only found out about this story today on the L.A. Times, and decided to look up the name. I am so happy for everyone invovled. I have no opinion on the death penalty as it is a case by case decision, however this man did not deserve it and I thank the heavens above for allowing those in charge to see just that. Kudos to you Mr. Perry.

chico said...

BRAVO

Rent Boy said...

I dont believe! I'm VERY HAPPY. I was almost ready to cry Kenneth's death, and now I'm so happy!

Ciao Kenneth, lunga vita

Francesca said...

I still can't believe this really happened..it's like a dream! I was sure to spend a terrible night with nightmares thinking about poor Kenneth on that death bed...instead I will fall asleep with a smile on my face..! Thank you so much Perry!!

Jeremy said...

I'm so happy for Kenneth, it just goes to show the truth always, prevails along with a lil prayer. Congratulations Kenneth

Carlito said...

We Won, Kenneth, YOU WON, and I'm so glad in this moment I can't explain (sorry for my bad english - I'm writing from Italy).
This was just one battle, the main battle for sure, but now we've to win the war (I hate this word but in this case I think it's the only one) against death penalty, law parties & so on.
Next job now, IMHO, is to continue fighting for Your Freedom.
Many, many, many wishes and the biggest hug You ever feel.

blackwidow00 said...

I too am unable to stop crying...I became so emotionally involved in Kenneths case that I felt he was a relative. This is truly a historic moment. I have sent Gov Perry a fax thanking him. It certainly has given me some hope that our government isn't all lost. I wish I could give you a big hug Kenneth but please know that my family and I are going out for Tex Mex tonight in celebration of your life and will set a place for you :)
Love & Blessings,
Judy

Unirover said...

This victory is a tribute to everybody who did anything, big or small, to bring this case to public attention and to get officials to finally act. But it is a tribute above all to Kenneth Foster, and his family. I approached today with gloom, feeling that if Texas executed this man there was NOBODY they would not execute. I got interested because of the legal issues; I stayed interested because of Kenneth. He touched many people with his courage, his political savvy, and his amazing ability to stay positive in the worst possible circumstances. Congratulations to everybody, and let's keep up the anti-death penalty work.

SlamGlam said...

he is still human slime. funny how being wheel man for multiple armed robberies one that predicably ended in murder is spun in to "he was just riding with the killer"

anyway, i am against the DP so this is good.

EqualMarriage said...

Hi! I'm Marco from Italy. I'm very happy. This is great!! During this month I prayed so much for this. Here in Italy all the tv channels are telling the story, the whole country is happy about it. Me, my family and friends have sent e-mails to Perry and the members of the board, and now we welcome the clemency. I hope that Kenneth will soon be free.

Sandy said...

Kenneth Foster is a career criminal. He is a gang member who rode around town jacking people at gunpoint, shooting at occupied cars, participated in a cold blooded murder. Justice was NOT served today. Kenneth Foster deserves to rot in hell for all eternity.

And my goodness, he has brainwashed his young daughter and has pimped her out all over the media with her singing his praises.

Kenneth is a shame to the human race, he is a shame to all Americans.

el chingon said...

What a waste of skin this cat is. Just another example of how weak our Gov. Perry really can be, relenting to his own personal ambition for some national office in the future. Victory??? tell that to the victim's family! In fairness we can only hope that somehow this guy contracts or develops a disease resulting in a slow and painful death. Soon we hope.

LISSEMAR said...

Gracias a Dios, aun hay justicia...aun puedo creer en la piedad de los hombres hacia sus hermanos...Gracias a todos los que de alguna manera pusieron su grano de arena para implorar justicia.
Gracias Gobernador Perry.

Diana said...

I am amazed at the outpouring of love and concern for a person who robbed innocent people and lets make no mistake about this...he made choices that evening to hurt people over and over again. His family and friends are acting like he is a babe in the woods who was taken down the garden path. Where is the justice and fairness for the actual victims family? The man who was shot that night by Kenneth's running buddy? Cry for him and his family, they deserve the tears, justice and fairness. People are talking now about Kenneth maybe getting out of prison...God help us all. Who's fault will it be when his next friend kills someone? I know what I am feeling right now...nauseous.

miss heather nicole. said...

I am so so very happy for you && your family! I had not watched all of your videostill today... I didnt want to hear anything more about the case... it was making me so angrey inside that it was all happening! SO today while I was watching the video i had heard you say : As long as love && stuggel are in the air...there will be no death... at that moment I got a phone call from one of your cousins telling me they took away your execution! Tears fell from my eyes && they are still coming. Im going to continue to pray for you && your family!

God bless you guys!

Rachel O said...

This is such an incredible relief and a great victory for what is right. I hadn't seriously believed he had a chance of being spared, but I hoped the law would someday be changed regardless. It is wonderful that he won't die for that faulty law. Let us continue to work for that law to be changed, and let us send thank you letters to the Governor and the Board of Paroles for preventing a terrible breach of justice.

Sandy said...

What about the victim and HIS FAMILY? You are all forgetting the truly innocent person. Did ya stop to think that if Kenneth was driving and terrorizing texas that night then maybe the victim would still be alive? Kenneth is as guilty as the person who pulled the trigger!

faith said...

I would like to thank God first and foremost for spareing the life of someone who did not commit murder. Furthermore congratulations to all for your victory and never forget to give all glory to God. Bless you all!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daniel said...

Blah blah blah, Victim this, Victim that!!

To ALL THE PEOPLE who are moaning that this was a bad decision...

HAVE YOU ALL FORGOTTEN?! The victims FAMILY have ALREADY stated themselves that HE DID NOT DESERVE BEING EXECUTED for simply being the driver! THEY SAID THIS ALREADY! So whatever anger you people keep spouting is completely OUT OF LINE! Get with the program!!!

AND Ask yourself THIS: Even if not a robber, IF put in the SAME situation as Kenneth, and someone CLOSE to you murdered someone, and YOU got caught and tried under the rather abysmal "Law of Parties", what would YOU think?! People today are so stone-age, hasty to execute others without true cause. Loons.

But anyways, congrats on the win. Hope he doesn't make any other dumb choices again in the future.

Ricky said...

Ok, I am disturbed by this comment:

"Foster’s family and other supporters will continue to work to free him from prison. 'It seems like ten years on death row under 23-hour lockdown could amount to time served for any crime that Kenneth ever committed,' Cloud said."

Having his sentence commuted to life in prison was a victory and, even though I disagree with that decision, a hard fought one to say the least. But let's face it, he was involved in a murder. His ten years in prison under 23-hour a day lockdown is not time served for a murder. No matter what you say, he is still a convicted murderer and I, for one, am saddened by how this decision affects the family of Michael LaHood, Jr. Remember him? He's the real victim in this. God bless his family.

el chingon said...

to Daniel: The victim's family NEVER said this waste of flesh did not deserve execution. Check your facts before you mouth off pendejo..

D.B. Kenner said...

I'm crying too. I thought Mr. Foster and Mr. Needle were going to embrace at last. Too bad. We had three executions scheduled for this week. Two of them -- DaRoyce Mosely and John Amador -- have boarded the train to hell.

I guess Kenneth Foster will have to settle for being some big guy's girlfriend for the next fifty years or so.

Hey Kenneth, when you're in the shower, don't bend over to pick up the soap!

Peace.

IamtheIam said...

When will people in this country who say they Believe in God, begin to practice FORGIVENESS!!!
While it is very hurtful to know that Kenneth was voluntarily involved in the death of this person, I'm certain he has a lot of time to think about his choices and actions and the effect that it has had on many people. Personally I think DEATH was the easy way out, and to live means that for everyday that he is alive he has a chance to ask for forgiveness of self, the people that he hurt and the choice he made to be involved in the first place. For those people who believe he should die anyway, I wonder how you would feel if you or a loved one of yours was in the same position. Would you be willing to "forgive" and to continue to love this individual unconditionally inspite of his actions. If not, then you should ask yourself did you ever love or really care in the first place. Let he/she who is without sin cast the first stone. I am happy that he is allowed to live, he has a chance to make better choices now even though he has LIFE in the pen. He has a second chance given by the grace of God to say "I made a mistake" and I apologize. He has a second chance to see his daughter grow up, but mostly he has a second chance to choose LOVE.

Huey said...

To all who crudely and hurtfully oppose the Governor's decision. I say you have no idea what justice is. Your ignorance is beyond measure. Your words are like dog shit in a beautiful park. Most people avoid it but responsible people stop and scoop it into the trash where it belongs.
The death penalty is not justice. The Law of Parties is a total mockery of justice. It is nothing more than Greedy Vengeance. Greedy vengeance for the same greedy, ignorant, spiteful people who would say it is a crime to be born to drug addicted parents.
You speak of Hell. I don't wish you to Hell. You are already there with your life filled with judgement and vindictiveness. Few things support an early death like the insane hostility and bitterness. So be it!

ggwwtt said...

Ult multos anos

Eddie G. Griffin said...

Bless all those who supported redeeming Kenneth's life, and curse those who curse him.

Vincenzo said...

:)

Anna said...

It's amazing to see what amount of hatred and murderous thoughts Mr. Foster's pardon has caused. What's the problem with you guys being so evil? Has Kenneth Foster somehow harmed or hurt you? At least he didn't kill anybody. And he wasn't any party either. Why is that so difficult to understand and accept? Your hatred and murderous thoughts don't bring Mr. LaHood back. And have you forgotten that one man has already given his life for the killing of Mr. LaHood, isn't that enough? You are quite blood thirsty, I must say.

Capital punishment is wrong. There's no justice in it, only primitive vengeance. Are you proud of being one of the countries where 91 % of executions took place in 2006? The other countries of that lot were China, Iran, Irak, Sudan and Pakistan. Other countries where executions are known to have been carried out in 2006 are listed here: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGACT500122007?open&of=ENG-392. Please have a look at this page, too: http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty-index-eng. I'm happy we here in Finland don't have such evil laws. I hope you also could adopt more civilized ways of punishing people. And then, punishing only for what they really have done.

I was so happy and delighted when I heard the good news that Governor Perry had commuted the death sentence. I wish all the best to Mr. Foster and his family. God bless you!

Martha said...

Thank You, Anna.
Martha, The Netherlands.

Ricky said...

Anna: At least he didn't kill anybody? He was a party to a murder. His commuted sentence is life in prison for murder. Why is THAT so hard to understand and accept?

Eric Vignaud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Aside from feeling there’s a pointless dispute going on here when there shouldn't and a level of disrespect taking place by choosing to lambaste a victory and celebration for a movement that has prevailed, I'll add my two cents for whatever its worth.

Being an advocate for the death penalty under the pretense of having suffered a loss of a loved one due to murder is understandable but hypocritical. The loss of one life in return for another doesn't bring any closure to anything and only furthers suffering, be it on one side or the other. It is a false belief to think otherwise, a pathology of the mind that must be cleansed through forgiveness and compassion.

I do not speak out of ignorance here for I too lost an Aunt who was bludgeoned to death in a robbery who was like a mother and watched her three daughters grow up orphans of the state of Texas. These three and myself have felt great pain from her loss but have thru time come to understand that an eye for an eye truly does leave everyone blind and doesn’t change a thing. This is awareness, and with that comes peace. To think otherwise is to deceive yourself into thinking that retribution the veil of vengeance will offer peace, but this is nothing more then a trick or a lie to yourself in thinking that the only way I can have peace is thru the death of the individual responsible for my loved ones murder, directly, or in this case indirectly. A psychological band aide(with the wound still festering beneath) that fools yourself into believing that closure has been met but maybe you should ask yourself, is there a way I can or could have found peace that didn’t or doesn’t involve continuing a pattern of suffering? If your answer is no, then I’m sorry but it is you that is blinded by your selfishness from your loss that can justify killing another and not see an alternative and it’s you that needs healing from within.

Things are not black and white; there are many shades of grey and to insist that Mr. Foster is just as guilty as Mr. Brown in La Hood’s murder is looking at things very narrowly. If it’s accountability you seek, then maybe you should think of the cultural and socio-economic/environmental conditioning that fostered the reality and programming Mr. Foster was in when he was the person who was in the driver’s seat the night of La Hoods murder and direct your accountability towards improving those conditions in a more positive way. Who Kenneth Foster is now is someone very different than who he was then, call it an assumption but I think his actions speak otherwise. Call it self preservation that brought this change, maybe so but he it seems is in search of redemption on whatever level and he will have the remainder of his life to try and find it and fight for what he feels is right and who are you to challenge that. If you’re going to judge anyone, judge yourself and judge your beliefs that you hold so true. As they say “Let he who is without sin hurl the first stone” and there is absolutely nothing that separates you from Kenneth or anyone else aside from your choices, theirs, and whatever social class/environment you or they were born into and the genetic hand you and they were dealt.

I have preached enough and with that all I feel left to say is, please challenge yourself into examining your convictions and why you feel so strongly about them and where they really come from and if you’ve taken this as affront then that is your deal and not mine and I will offer no rebuttal. However if you do then examine that as well and what it is that really makes you so uncomfortable and why your really here venting at people who are jubilant over a real victory and don’t care or wish to share the same views as you. Thanks be to whomever that Kenneth has been spared and that a moment of real justice has prevailed.