Monday, June 30, 2008

Texas: Save Jeff Wood?

Over at The Nation, Peter Rothberg is calling on Americans to "Save Jeff Wood." Rothberg says something like 17,000 "outraged citizens" petitioned Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles last year for a commutation of sentence for another individual who was convicted under the same statute as Wood, "Texas' notorious Law of Parties." As Rothberg describes it:
... 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.
Wood is scheduled to be executed on August 21 for participation in a convenience store robbery in which his accomplice (who was executed 6 years ago) actually did the shooting. Says Rothberg:
Both men were arrested separately within 24 hours and gave confessions to the police. Wood, however, was forced into interrogation by the police with no attorney present and says he was kept awake the entire time and eventually broke down saying it was a planned robbery. He later revoked this statement.
See story here.

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