The Legalized Lynching of Kenneth Foster, Jr.

On August 30, 2007, Texas, the state that executes more people than any in the country, plans to deliver a lethal injection to Kenneth Foster, Jr. While this may seem like nothing out of the ordinary for a state that will perform its 400th execution this summer, Kenneth’s case is unique. He killed no one. The state of Texas will be the first kento admit this. It seems unthinkable that a man who did not even touch the gun that ended the life of Michael LaHood, Jr. on August 14, 1996 in San Antonio, Texas would be sent to his death for such a crime. What makes this possible is the Law of Parties. A number of states have laws that enable prosecutors to hold those merely present at the scene of a crime legally responsible. Texas is the only state that applies this statute in capital cases, making it the only place in the United States where a person can be factually innocent of murder and still face the death penalty. (Imported from Democracy in Action (.org)

The last option for Kenneth Foster, is for us write letters and send emails on his behalf to the Governor and Texas Legislature. Click this link to do so, or visit democracyinaction.org and let your voice join the thousands of others to stop this injustice. Conflicted? Consider the words of one of the slain victim’s (Michael LaHood, Jr.) best friends:

One night in August 1996 one of my best friends, Michael LaHood, was murdered by Mauriceo Brown. And Kenneth Foster, Jr. was driving for Mauriceo that night. I don’t know what the circumstances of Kenneth’s involvement were beyond the fact that he was still in the car when Mauriceo pulled the trigger that sent a bullet through my friends brain, ending his life immediately.

Was he being forced to drive? Or was he along for the ride? I don’t care. Kenneth deserves and is receiving punishment for his role in the tragedy that occurred that night. But whatever punishment Kenneth does deserve for his role in my friends cruel murder, execution should not ever have been (or be) an option. He did not pull the trigger, or encourage Mr. Brown to pull it…

I (have) hated Mauriceo and his gang even more for a long time. But the execution of a young man who didn’t even kill Mike? That’s not justice. It’s senseless vengeance, a barbarism cloaked in the black robes of justice. (read entire appeal here).

Even the friends and family of the slain are outraged at the ridiculous and racist implications of this young man’s execution. It only takes about 60 seconds to click over to Democracy in Action and do what you can. Thankyou Maya Freelon Asante (www.mayafreelon.com) for bringing this to our attention.

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Published on August 12, 2007 at 12:48 pm. 35 Comments.
Filed under collective action,news/politics,racism.