We held a meeting today with the family and friends of Jeff Wood. His lawyer participated by conference call. We learned more about the severe extent of Jeff’s mental disability.
We decided to hold a rally on August 2 in San Antonio to urge the Governor and the Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency for Jeff. The time and location of the rally will be announced later. Mark your calendars and plan to join us in San Antonio to stop Texas from executing someone who did not kill anyone.
The death penalty is grossly out of proportion as a punishment for Jeff, since he did not kill anyone. According to its supporters, the death penalty is supposed to be reserved for the worst of the worst offenders. Jeff Wood is not even close to fitting that description. His sentence should be commuted to a term in prison. Jeff did not kill anyone. He is not a killer. Someone who did not kill should not be subject to the death penalty.
Jeff Wood was convicted under Texas’ notorious Law of Parties, under which the distinction between principal actor and accomplice in a crime is abolished. The law can impose the death penalty on anybody involved in a crime where a murder occurred whether a person had anything to do with the murder or not. (Texas is the only state that applies this statute in capital cases, making it the only place in the United States where a person can be factually innocent of murder and still face the death penalty.)