Kenneth Foster Jr. is going to die on August 30. The man who was sentenced when he was nineteen will be put to death for a murder that he didn’t commit. And what’s more the state knows it. He was in a car waiting when Mauriceo Brown did kill a man.
Mauriceo Brown was executed in 2006. The state of Texas though contends that Foster knew what was going on and therefore is just as guilty.
It doesn’t matter that everyone involved says that the man hadn’t a clue. In Texas if they want you to die you’re going to die.
See in Texas they have special laws. One of those laws is the Texas Law of Parties that permits a person involved in a crime to be held accountable for the actions committed by someone else.
Texas says that a nineteen year old man “should have anticipated” that Brown was going to kill Michael LaHood in San Antonio. I mean come on, everyone knows that when someone exits your car they are going to go and shot someone, right?
“[Foster] was a victim of a statute that was never intended by its authors to be used this way,” said Foster’s defense attorney, Keith Hampton. “I talked to the authors, and they intended [the statute] to be used in conspiracy cases.”
The night in question Foster, Brown, Julius Steen, and Dewayne Dillard were all riding together in Foster’s car. No one is saying that these were innocent boys, On the contrary they had spent that evening committing two armed robberies. Everyone has always maintained that when Brown left the car no one knew that he was going to kill LaHood. In fact it has been stated repeatedly that Foster, who had borrowed the car from his grandfather, pleaded with the group to go home before they encountered LaHood. They also all maintain that he wanted to drive away when he heard the gunshots. Steen and Dillard made him stop and wait for Brown. So how did the others involved in the case luck out with lesser sentences? Steen received a 35-year-to-life sentence for the crime, and Dillard was given a life sentence.
The answer seems to be a shoddy court-appointed defense attorney. One that didn’t bring up those key points. One who wrote a short 20-page appellate brief on behalf of Foster. One who is safe to say didn’t care if his client lived or died.
At least one of the original jurors has admitted that his verdict would have been different had he known that Foster was unaware of what Brown was planning.
For a while it looked like Foster had a break. His sentence was overturned by Federal District Judge Royal Furgeson of San Antonio .
“There was no evidence before Foster’s sentencing jury which would have supported a finding that Foster either actually killed LaHood or that Foster intended to kill LaHood or another person. Therein lays the fundamental constitutional defect in Foster’s sentence . . . . Therefore, Foster’s death sentence is not supported by the necessary factual finding mandated [by the U.S. Supreme Court] and, for that reason, cannot withstand Eighth Amendment scrutiny.”
That though was short lived. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit overturned that decision.
So right now Foster has until the end of the month to breath.
When Texas wants them dead, they die.