Join us at the Texas Capitol Tuesday, January 11, at 5:30 pm to protest the first Texas execution of 2011 and to call on the Texas Legislature to enact a moratorium on executions and address problems in the system that put innocent people on death row, such as in the cases of Anthony Graves and Todd Willingham. If Texas had enacted a moratorium on executions in 2003, then Willingham would not have been wrongfully executed in 2004 based on faulty forensic evidence.
If you are a Texas resident, but you cannot come to the Capitol in Austin, you can help by calling your Texas state senator and state representative and urging them to support a moratorium on executions. Go here to find out who represents you.
You can also email Governor Rick Perry, although he probably doesn’t care what you say.
Former Army recruiter Cleve Foster was one of two men in Fort Worth tied to the slayings nine years ago of two women, one who had fled Sudan and the other a Texas Tech honors graduate.
Both Foster and his former roommate wound up on death row for the slaying of Nyaneur Pal, 30. He was set for lethal injection Tuesday that would make him the first convicted killer executed this year in Texas.
Foster, 47, always insisted his buddy, Sheldon Ward, acted alone in Pal’s slaying.
“My old roommate — he’s told them,” Foster told The Associated Press. “It wasn’t me.”
Ward died in prison last May of cancer.
“Cleve Foster saying ‘I didn’t do anything,’ that’s bull, … that’s baloney,” said Ben Leonard, a former Tarrant County assistant district attorney who prosecuted him. “The jury had no problem convicting him of murder. That case, I’ve never had any doubts about that case at all.”
A Tarrant County jury in 2004 deliberated less than an hour and a half before convicting him.
Foster’s lawyers asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the punishment, arguing his conviction was flawed because trial attorneys failed to get testimony from a blood spatter expert to counter a detective’s testimony that Ward couldn’t have killed and moved Pal’s body by himself.
“The state of Texas is on the verge of executing an innocent man,” attorney Clint Broden told the court.
Similar arguments raised in earlier appeals from Foster failed.
Foster and Ward were convicted separately. The Sudanese woman, known as Mary Pal, worked at a country club and was seen talking with the pair at a Fort Worth bar. Her body was found hours later dumped in a ditch off a Tarrant County road. She’d been shot once in the head.