Given Texas’ legal and political culture, and given Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) penchant for the death penalty, this is quite a surprise. Gov.
August 29, 2007

Given Texas’ legal and political culture, and given Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) penchant for the death penalty, this is quite a surprise.

Gov. Rick Perry accepted a parole board recommendation Thursday to spare condemned inmate Kenneth Foster, the getaway driver in a 1996 murder who had been scheduled for execution within hours. [...]

Foster was convicted of murder and sentence to death under Texas’ law of parties, which makes non-triggermen equally accountable for a crime. Another condemned man was executed under the same statute earlier this year.

“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,” Perry said in a statement.

Be sure to read Digby’s take on why today’s developments offer a “glimmer of hope.”

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