Thursday, August 2, 2007
The Injustice of the Texas Capital Punishment System
Capital Punishment also known as the death penalty is legal in 38 of the 50 states including Texas. Capital punishment is used for many reasons by the states but usually it is used when a person has committed a murder. Texas has the highest leading number of executions out of those 38 states.
Is it morally right or wrong to kill another human being in today’s society. From a political standpoint, one must consider whether or not it is even legal. A mixture of Supreme Court ruling and individual Texas laws, one must assume that it is flawlessly legal to carry out a death penalty sentence. For Texas on the other hand, there are a plenty of things the state can do to improve their capital punishment system but probably the worst would be Texas Law of Parties.
Texas Law of Parties is probably one of the worst and most unconstitutional law there is dealing with the death penalty (ironic huh?).
THE STATUTORY BASIS OF THE LAW OF PARTIES
Section 7.02 of the Texas Penal Code outlines the following:
A person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if “acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense he solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid the other persons to commit the offense” or “If, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators are guilty of the felony actually committed, though having no intent to commit it, if the offense was committed in furtherance of the unlawful purpose and was one that should have been anticipated as a result of the carrying out of the conspiracy.”
Perhaps the big question is it fair that those who actually did not commit the murder are being mistakenly convicted and sentenced to death? Under the Law of Parties, people convicted and sentence to death when this punishment is completely disproportionate to the crime and should never have been enforced. This system states that capital punishment is kept for the extreme criminals and saved for the atrocious crimes committed but there is a person sent on death row who did not commit a murder. Is this fair? I do not think so. Surprisingly, there has not been a group of politicians who has yet stand up and fought against this issue. When will a voice be raised about this issue?
The Organization of Alive Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty e.V.developed goals and objectives to help this cause:
1) Gather willing groups to help reach out to other death row inmates tried under the Law of Parties so that we can see who can qualify under the Supreme Court criteria of persons who should not be on death row.
2) Upon these findings, initiate an official study about these Law of Parties cases and create a handbook (similar to Deadly Speculation and Lethal Indifference) that can be widely distributed to the public and media.
3) Formulate a write-up to adjust the current 7.02 Law of Parties Statute.
4) Build support and exposure around the above and take it to the Texas Legislature to be implemented.
Will this injustice in Texas ever be abolished?
Articles involving a man named Kenneth Foster who is sent to death because he didn't kill the man?:
Backward Texas law may make man pay with life for deed he didn't do
Kenneth Foster and the Texas Death House
Free Kenneth Foster: Support Rally This Saturday