Call Texas Governor Rick Perry and leave a voice message at 512 463 1782 or email him through his website at http://governor.state.tx.us/contact to protest today’s scheduled execution of Bobby Woods, whose execution should be stayed and commuted to life because of his mental retardation.
If Wood is executed, he will be the 24th person executed in 2009 in Texas and the 49th execution in Texas in 2009, which means Texas will have conducted 49 percent of all executions in the U.S. so far this year.
Read more in the article “Video from Death Row: Possibly Retarded Prisoner Faces Execution” by Renee Feltz in the Texas Observer:
The Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday rejected clemency for Bobby Wayne Woods, a man who may be mentally retarded. The Texas Observer has been following his appeal because his attorney, now disqualified from handling death penalty cases, failed to provide Woods with adequate legal council. There is also evidence that Woods is not fit to be executed under a 2002 Supreme Court ruling that bans the execution of mentally retarded prisoners. The videos below were provided to the parole board, but they decided to allow the execution to go forward. His new attorney, Maurie Levin, advises that she has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court that also includes the videos as evidence of Woods’ limited capacity. If the Supreme Court rejects the appeal, Woods is scheduled to die on Dec. 3.
The Observer will continue to update this site as the case develops.
EARLIER: When Texas reopens its execution chamber after a Thanksgiving break, the first man set to die may be mentally retarded. A 2002 Supreme Court ruling bans the execution of mentally retarded prisoners. But after years of being represented by a discredited attorney who ruined any chance for an appeal based on his disabilities, the fate of Bobby Wayne Woods rests with the state Board of Pardons and Paroles which can recommend clemency or a reprieve to Gov. Perry. “It’s a long shot at best,” Woods’ attorney Maurie Levin says of the clemency request, “but I think it’s very important to do.”
Test scores during his childhood and incarceration show Bobby Woods has an IQ that hovers at or below 70 — the cut-off point for mental retardation. He reads at a second grade level and writes childlike letters — many of which are photocopied and presented as evidence in his clemency request. Levin asked the board to grant a 60-day reprieve so that she can produce a videotape of Woods “to adequately present a full picture of his limitations.” She has sued Texas prison officials over their refusal to allow her to record such a video herself. The Texas Observer captured Woods on tape last week during an on-camera interview, and now you can watch the video that Levin wants the clemency board to see.