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November 19, 2009

Texas Gov Perry considering rare capital clemency recommendation

This new AP article, which is headlined "Texas governor to decide condemned killer's fate," reports on a notable new death penalty development in Texas:

The fate of a man facing execution Thursday evening for his role in a fatal robbery is in the hands of Gov. Rick Perry after the state parole board recommended that the death sentence be commuted to life in prison.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles made the rare recommendation Wednesday for 34-year-old Robert Lee Thompson, who was not the triggerman in the fatal shooting of a Houston convenience store clerk. The shooter, Sammy Butler, was convicted and received life in prison.

Perry is not required to follow the recommendation of the board, whose members he appoints. "The governor has received the board's recommendation but has not made a decision," spokeswoman Allison Castle said Wednesday....

The parole board's 5-2 vote Wednesday came in response to a petition from McCann, who argued that the case was similar to that of Kenneth Foster, also convicted and sentenced to die under the law of parties.

Perry two years ago commuted Foster's sentence to life. Foster became only the second inmate since Texas resumed carrying out executions in 1982 who won a recommendation from the parole board as his execution loomed. In the first case, in 2004, Perry rejected the board's recommendation and mentally ill prisoner Kelsey Patterson was executed.

Perry's explanation for commuting Foster's sentence was that Foster and his co-defendant were tried together on capital murder charges for a slaying in San Antonio. In Thompson's case, he and Butler were tried separately for the shooting death of 29-year-old Mansoor Bhai Rahim Mohammed.

UPDATE:  As detailed in this new AP piece, "Robert Lee Thompson was executed Thursday evening for his part in a fatal Houston store holdup after the Texas governor rejected a parole board's recommendation to spare him because he wasn't the gunman."  As the piece also notes, "Thompson was the 23rd inmate executed this year in Texas and the second this week."

November 19, 2009 at 09:34 AM | Permalink

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Comments

If he does, he's a fool. This was a bias crime, and the guy admitted to killing two others with his own hands.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2009 9:59:53 AM

thanx you

Posted by: Alışveriş | Nov 19, 2009 11:15:12 AM

Perry is a complete and utter asshole.

True to his own form.

Posted by: Samuel | Nov 19, 2009 6:57:31 PM

Well, Perry declined to intervene. This guy's going down.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2009 7:14:16 PM

Thompson was executed tonite. The world became a better place the instant he left it.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2009 7:43:37 PM

I just hope people are nice enough to say the same thing about you federalist whenever it so happens that you leave this world.

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 19, 2009 9:32:54 PM

If I rob stores and participate in a scheme to execute Middle Eastern clerks, then the world would be better for me having left it.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2009 11:12:26 PM

Because none of the media articles reported it, I'll fill in the very public details of Thompson's crime. Thompson and his codefendant went into a convenience store to rob it (part of a robbery spree in which Thompson killed 2 other victims). Thompson's codefendant shot and killed the victim. Thompson shot another store employee several times and placed the gun to his neck to deliver the coup de grace only to pull the trigger on an empty chamber. Referring to him as a "non-trigger man" is completely misleading. Add to that the racial motivation of the crime (as Federalist noted) and this was not a good candidate for clemency.

Posted by: Ed | Nov 20, 2009 10:30:14 AM

And yet I'm guessing the clemency board in Texas doesn't give out these recs like candy, so I imagine there must have been some countervailing narrative... but I suppose the point is now moot.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 20, 2009 11:25:26 AM

Ed --

Thanks for the facts. It's a shame that abolitionists are too busy congratulating themselves for Their Highly Enlightened Compassion to get around to mentioning what Thompson actually did.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 20, 2009 5:40:04 PM

my problem with it is this!

"The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles made the rare recommendation Wednesday for 34-year-old Robert Lee Thompson, who was not the triggerman in the fatal shooting of a Houston convenience store clerk. The shooter, Sammy Butler, was convicted and received life in prison."

So the man who ACTUALLY took a life get's life in prison...but the one who DIDNT' KILL anyone DIES. Any bets on just who testified against the other. Sorry this govr is an idiot. His actions in this and the Arson Board case prove it.

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | Nov 21, 2009 3:40:05 AM

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