Yesterday, we put up a link to an alert for people to contact members of the Texas Legislature asking them to help us persuade Governor Perry to stop the execution of Kenneth Foster, Jr. So far already 200 people have sent an email in their own words to each of the 181 Texas legislators.
Democracy Now! had a long segment today in which they interviewed members of Kenneth’s family and some of his supporters. They also played taped segments of an interview with Kenneth himself.
Kenneth Foster was sentenced to death ten years ago for the murder of Michael LaHood, a white man. The trial judge, the prosecutor, and the jury that sentenced him to die admit he never killed anyone. Foster is scheduled to be executed under a controversial Texan law known as the law of parties. The law imposes the death penalty on anybody involved in a crime where a murder occurred. In Foster’s case he was driving a car with three passengers, one of whom left the car, got into an altercation and shot LaHood dead.
One of the family members on the show was Nydesha, Foster’s 11 year old daughter.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go back to Austin to speak with Kenneth Foster’s daughter Nydesha. She’s eleven years old, about the same amount of time that Kenneth Foster has been on death row. Nydesha, you’ve grown up visiting your dad in prison?
NYDESHA FOSTER: Yes. Since I was about — I was about one years old when the incident had taken place. And ever since he has been put into death row sentence, I have been — he’s been watching me grow up from behind glass, and I’ve seen him watch me get older from behind glass. And it’s a hard thing for me to do, but I get used to it, but it’s not a happy thing for me to do.
AMY GOODMAN: Have you ever touched your dad?
NYDESHA FOSTER: When I was one years old, before the incident happened. I have not touched my dad since probably ’96.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And when you speak with him, what are some of the things he tells you, in terms of continuing to have hope that he will be able to be saved?
NYDESHA FOSTER: Yes. He encourages me. That’s what keeps me strong about his case, because, you know, if I didn’t have him to encourage me, I would probably not be able to do anything, because I’d be so sad and stressed out. But it’s the matter of things that he does and, you know, how he listens to me, even when people don’t look or listen to us. It’s, you know, everybody — he calls me his little princess, and, I mean, I feel like I am his princess because of the things he does for me. And even though he is a father behind glass, he does a lot of stuff for me. You know, he still is a father. And people need to recognize that.
When somebody is a big part of your heart, like my father is — I mean, my father is more than half of my heart. I mean, I love him so much. And if the State of Texas kills him just for driving a car, it’s like you’re killing my heart. It’s like you’re killing half of me. It’s like if you execute him, you might as well execute me, because of the type of things and the could-have-should-have-known stuff, and it’s just how the Texas law of parties, they just really need to take the time to listen, and my dad probably would not be in the predicament that he is in, if the law of parties would take the time to listen to us.