August 11, 2008
Ms. Rissie Owens, Chair
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
8610 Shoal Creek Blvd.
Austin, TX 78757
Dear Ms. Owens,
I write in support of clemency for Jeff Wood, who is scheduled to be executed in your state in ten days. Mr. Wood’s death sentence, as I‘m sure you’re aware, was based on an interpretation of your state’s “law of parties” that allows a death sentence in a situation where the individual in question not only was not directly responsible for a murder, but in fact may not even have been aware that such a thing would take place.
It’s my understanding that the Board you chair found reason to recommend clemency in a recent case, that of Kenneth Foster, for many of the reasons that now pertain in Mr. Wood’s case and I ask that you find it in your heart to handle this one in the same manner.
Because Texas now has enacted a sentence of life without parole into law, what is clear is that clemency for Mr. Wood could, if your recommendation to Governor Perry so suggested, simply exchange the death sentence for permanent imprisonment, ensuring that he would never be a threat of any kind to the people of your state.
Please, therefore, urge your Board to recommend clemency for Jeff Wood. Killing him will neither solve anything nor serve society in any way.