Texas is set to start a roll of five executions this month today. Meanwhile, a debate is brewing about whether the national anti-death penalty movement should be doing more in Texas to stop or at least slow down executions. Many people feel that the national anti-death penalty movement has failed Texas, choosing to send money to non-death penalty states such as Wisconsin and Iowa, instead of Texas.

Last week, Kenneth Foster’s execution was stopped in Texas after a well-organized campaign to educate the public about the unfairness of applying the death penalty in his case because he had not killed anyone. But two days before Foster’s sentence was commuted, another man named DaRoyce Mosley was executed. If the national anti-death penalty movement had sent funds to Texas instead of Wisconsin and Iowa last year, then maybe the life of Mosely could have been saved too, because it is highly likely that Mosely was also not the person who pulled the trigger that killed anyone, but that it was his uncle, who made a deal with prosecutors to testify against his much younger nephew.

The Associated Press
Monday, September 3, 2007

HUNTSVILLE, Texas: Texas plans to execute five convicted killers this month, with the first scheduled for Wednesday in the United States’ busiest capital punishment state.

Wednesday’s lethal injection of 30-year-old Tony Roach would bring the number of executions in Texas this year to 24, equaling the total for all of last year.

Four men were executed last month, including two last week. A third set to die last week, Kenneth Foster, received a commutation from Governor Rick Perry after supporters and death penalty opponents waged an intense campaign pointing out Foster was not the gunman in the fatal shooting case that resulted in his death sentence. The unusual commutation sent Foster to a life prison term.

No similar campaign has surfaced for Roach or the four other men headed to the death chamber this month.

Roach’s lawyer, Joe Marr Wilson, said last-minute appeals were not likely.

“Commutation facts aren’t really there,” Wilson said. “It’s a bad deal, but he’s just kind of the middle of the road and kind of hard to do anything with.”

Joseph Lave is set to die next week, followed by Clifford Kimmel, set for Sept. 20. Michael Wayne Richard is scheduled for Sept. 25. Two days later will be Carlton Turner.

The record for executions in the state is 40, set in 2000. Only one execution — Heliberto Chi in October — is scheduled so far over the last three months of this year.

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