For immediate release: July 29, 2008
Terri Been B.S., M. Ed, Sister of Jeff Wood
Scott Cobb, President
Texas Moratorium Network
Kristin Wood, Wife of Jeff Wood
Jeff Wood’s Attorney
Rally to Save Jeff Wood From Execution to be Held in San Antonio August 2 at Noon
A rally for Jeff Wood, who is waiting to die on Texas Death Row with an execution date of August 21st, 2008, will take place in San Antonio in front of the Alamo at noon on Saturday, August 2. Wood was sentenced to death under the “Law of Parties” for a murder he did not commit. The actual murderer was Daniel Reneau, who has already been executed by the state of Texas. Wood did not kill anyone and did not intend anyone to be killed. He did not know that Reneau would commit a murder.
What: “Save Jeff Wood” rally to stop the execution and urge clemency for Jeff Wood
Where: In front of The Alamo at 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, Texas
When: Noon on Saturday August 2
Speakers Include: Terri Been, sister of Jeff Wood; Kristin Wood, wife of Wood; representatives of Texas Moratorium Network, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Campaign to End the Death Penalty and others.
Last summer, Governor Perry commuted the death sentence of Kenneth Foster only hours before he was scheduled for execution. The Board of Pardons and Paroles had voted the day before to recommend clemency for Foster, who had been convicted under the “Law of Parties” even though he did not kill anyone. Many newspapers wrote editorials urging Perry to commute Foster’s death sentence, including the Dallas Morning News, which wrote in , “Not a Killer: Kenneth Foster does not deserve execution”:
“Ours is the only state in the country to apply the “law of parties” to capital cases, allowing accomplices to pay the ultimate penalty for a murder committed by another. Mr. Foster is a criminal. But he should not be put to death for a murder committed by someone else”
Now, Texas is set to execute another person who did not kill anyone but was sentenced to death under the Law of Parties.
The Coalition to Save Jeff Wood is asking the people of Texas to contact the governor and the Board of Pardons and Paroles and urge them to grant clemency to Jeff Wood, because he did not kill anyone. “Many Texans support the death penalty, but I do not believe that any reasonable person in Texas believes that a person like Jeff Wood should be executed who did not kill or intend to kill. Wood’s sentence should be commuted just as Kenneth Foster’s was commuted”, said Scott Cobb of Texas Moratorium Network.
The cousin of Kris Keeran (the murder victim) wants to save the life of Jeff Wood.
“My cousin was the person killed by Danny, not Jeff. I say this as a family member who realized long ago Jeff had no part in my cousin’s murder and he shouldn’t be executed. It’s insane to kill another person who did not kill Kris. The video showed Jeff took no part in it. Jeff was one of my friends growing up and someone I think deserves a chance. If he didn’t kill him, why should we kill Jeff? This is ridiculous.”
– Amanda Smith, Texas
June 19, 2008
Everyone – including law enforcement and prosecutors alike – agree that Jeffrey Wood did not kill anyone during the January 2, 1996 incident for which he was sentenced to death. The undisputed facts are that Kris Keeran was shot and killed by Daniel Reneau. During the episode, Jeffery Wood did not and could not have known that Reneau would murder Keeran. In fact, Wood was not even inside the store at the time of the murder.
Daniel Reneau was convicted of the murder of Kris Keeran and Reneau was executed on June 13, 2002. When the robbery took place on the morning of January 2, 1996, Wood was under the impression that Reneau was going in to the store to get “road drinks and munchies.” Although it is true that Wood and Reneau had talked about robbing the store at the behest of the manager of the store, Wood backed out because he had a bad feeling about it. The robbery was supposed to take place on the 1st, but after Wood backed out, Reneau decided to go through with the robbery on the 2nd on his own initiative and made the decision to kill Kris Keeran on his own. Wood had no idea that a murder or a even a robbery was going to take place on the morning of the 2nd. Before Reneau and Wood left the house on the morning of the 2nd, Wood told Daniel Reneau to put the gun away, which he did in front of Wood, but Reneau pulled the gun out again when Wood went to the restroom.
At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Jan. 2, 1996, while Jeff Wood waited outside, Daniel Reneau entered the gas station with a gun and pointed it at Kris Keeran, the clerk standing behind the counter. Reneau ordered him to a back room. When he did not move quickly enough, Reneau fired one shot with a 22 caliber handgun that struck Keeran between the eyes. Death was almost instantaneous. Proceeding with the robbery, Reneau went into the back office and took a safe. After hearing the shot, Wood got out of the car to see what was going on. He walked by the door and looked through the glass. Then he went inside, looked over the counter and ran to the back, where Reneau was. Wood was then ordered by Reneau at gunpoint to get the surveillance video and to drive the getaway car. Earlier, Reneau had threatened to kill Wood’s young daughter if anyone ever “ratted” on Reneau, so with a gun pointed at him and a man already having been shot, Wood complied with Reneau’s orders.
* Wood suffers from severe mental, emotional and learning disabilities. He was abused and beaten severely and repeatedly as a child. He is submissive to more dominant personalities because of the abuse during his childhood.
* At arrest Wood was forced into interrogation by the police and did not have council present. Wood was kept awake the entire time. He was refused sleep. He eventually confessed saying it was a planned robbery. He later revoked this statement. Wood was found not mentally fit to stand trial. He was admitted into a mental hospital and a couple of weeks later was found ‘trial ready’.
* At trial, Wood was not satisfied with his representation. Wood asked to represent himself, but wasn’t allowed to do so. The judge found him not capable of representing himself. The judge however, did not argue when Wood, in his diminished mental capacity, ordered his attorneys not to do anything during the punishment phase of his trial. The result was that Jeff had no witnesses during the punishment phase of his trial on his behalf. If his lawyers had been able to call witnesses during the penalty phase, the jury would have heard about Wood’s mental problems and his abusive childhood and may not have sentenced him to death.
* The victim’s father called the Governor of Texas on the day of Daniel Reneau’s execution and urged the governor not to execute the person who actually killed his son, Daniel Reneau.
Visit the Save Jeff Wood website at www.savejeffwood.com for more information and to sign the petition for Jeff Wood.