Derek Bentley

In Texas, there are people on death row who never killed anyone but who were sentenced to death under the law of parties. In a famous English case, Derek Bentley was convicted as a party to murder, by the English law principle of "joint enterprise", which is similar to the Law of Parties. There was a 45-year-long campaign to win Derek Bentley a posthumous pardon, which was granted partially in 1993, then completely in 1998. Here in Texas, we are working to end the death penalty for people sentenced to death under the Law of Parties. Jeff Wood is one of the people on death row in Texas who never killed anyone but was sentenced to death under the law of parties. Having no prior criminal record, Wood was convicted and sentenced to die for killing a convenience store clerk during a January 1996 robbery in Kerrville, TX under the "Law of Parties." Wood was not the shooter in this case and he can reasonably claim that he had no idea that a murder would occur during what he says was meant to be a gas station robbery. The actual shooter in this case -- Daniel Earl Reneau -- was executed by the state of Texas more than nine years ago.
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