Rangel Shuts the Door on Kenneth Foster

Barring a miracle — and miracles are in short order on Texas’ death row — Kenneth Foster is likely to die Thursday. The battle around his case has been a heroic one. Kenneth’s horrifying story of being condemned to death on a misapplication of an already draconian legal monstrosity — Texas’ “Law of Parties,” which enshrines guilt by association — as well as his own clear-eyed and articulate work telling his story and speaking out for others, have won him a host of supporters.

Foremost, of course, there is his family, including his heartbreakingly articulate daughter Nydesha — who has never touched her father, and now may never do so. There is the Coalition to Save Kenneth Foster, a group of activists who have rallied to his defense. There is also the New York hip-hop collective the Welfare Poets, and Kenneth’s wife, the Dutch hip-hop artist Jav’lin, who dedicated the moving song “Walk With Me” on the Poets’ Cruel and Unusual Punishment CD to her husband’s struggle to live. Mumia Abul-Jamal, from his own death row confinement, wrote in solidarity, while Amnesty International called the case “a new low for Texas” — and that is low indeed.

There are others. Sportswriter Dave Zirin’s Jocks 4 Justice, a coalition of socially conscious sports figures like Ruben “Hurricane” Carter, Etan Thomas and Dr. John Carlos, said that Kenneth should live. Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa filed an amicus curae brief for Kenneth. And the European Union singled Kenneth’s case out as particularly egregious in condemning Texas’ 400th execution. (Governor Perry’s response was to state that the U.S. had fought a war to be free of European influence, and that “Texans are doing just fine governing Texas.”)

The major papers in Texas have all come out against the execution. There is even a soul-searching statement from Sean-Paul Kelley, a boyhood friend of Michael LaHood, the murder victim in whose name Kenneth will be strapped to a gurney this Thursday: “the execution of a young man who didn’t even kill Mike? That’s not justice.” Kelley writes. “It’s senseless vengeance, a barbarism cloaked in the black robes of justice.”

With the picture of this broad, international roster of supporters before our eyes, a coalition of activists in New York decided to approach our own formally anti-death-penalty Democratic representative Charles Rangel, co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus. Kenneth’s impeding execution is clearly a Civil Rights issue, as is the death penalty in general. It is difficult to imagine a wealthy white 19-year-old receiving the same treatment that Kenneth did. All five — yes, five — of the executions scheduled in Texas for this month are people of color (four are Black, one is Latino).

Two weeks ago, Rangel’s staff took a draft letter we wrote to Governor Perry on Kenneth’s behalf, which we hoped he would sign onto. They pumped us for information about the case; they wanted to know who was on board already. We told them that we wanted Rangel, as a politician with an abolitionist record, to take the lead in making Kenneth’s case heard in the halls of power. Then we waited. And as of last week, we were informed that Rangel would not see our letter for “several more days.” Given that after Tuesday it did not really matter, since it is was on Tuesday that the Pardons Board was to make its decision whether or not to recommend the case to the Governor (it has been delayed to today, Wednesday), this was the same as shutting the door.

So Monday morning, we decided to pay a visit to Charles Rangel.

We brought members of Harlem’s Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) and supporters of Kenneth. There was Ray Ramirez from the Welfare Poets, and Ronnique Hawkins from the Anti-Lynching Movement, and Michael Letwin, the radical lawyer and former President of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW. There was Jeffrey Deskovic, recently released on DNA evidence after 17 years in jail, and Lawrence Hayes, former Black Panther, New York death row inmate and Campaign founder. There was a man whose son has been a penpal of Kenneth’s for years. We were students and activists and independent journalists, former prisoners and family members — those that have the most at stake in fighting the death penalty and criminal injustice. And we were there to ask that our anti-death-penalty representative to take a stand while it still mattered.

They didn’t want to let us up at first, but at last Rangel’s policy advisor came down to meet our community delegation. He sat us around a cafeteria table, and explained to us that Rangel was a very busy man, that he hadn’t read the letter and that we hadn’t gotten it to him in time. He explained that whether we liked it or not, Kenneth had been convicted by a real law in Texas, and that Rangel had to be careful what he said about that. He seemed to have forgotten that the fight for racial justice in the US meant overturning “real” laws like slavery and Jim Crow. Unjust laws are made to be broken. Rangel, the man said, had a pile of papers on his desk. This representative of our elected official sat at a table with those who’d been railroaded by the criminal injustice system and had their lives destroyed by it and told them that Kenneth’s case was not urgent enough.

But, they’d “talk to the communications director at the Congressional Black Caucus.” They’d “put it in front of Rangel.”

Kenneth Foster’s execution date is Thursday at 6 pm.

Meanwhile, a few of us, waiting outside in Adam Clayton Powell Plaza for our press conference to begin, were confronted by security guards for carrying “Save Kenneth” signs, who told us we needed a permit. Not even for holding up the signs. Just for holding them in our hands. A guard in a beret told us we were inciting a disturbance; that is, he seemed to think that the sight that the words “Save Kenneth Foster” and a picture of Kenneth and Nydesha under someone’s arm might incite a disturbance.

Just another example of post-9/11 paranoia in New York, maybe. But it also shows how the law-and-order agenda has sapped away all our rights, has made acceptable affronts that would have seemed absurd a few years ago, with the death penalty being only the sharpest expression of this. Kenneth himself has written about how his case symbolizes this assault. And Kenneth, through his own activism behind bars, has helped build a movement to shine a light on the injustice — to expose the racism, the bloodlust and the social blindness that our criminal injustice system is built on… not least of all the out-of-control Texas death machine.

And it seems that some people would rather not have to be confronted with this.

There is a final thought. At the end of the day, Kenneth is being executed for not having predicted a murder that he had no way of predicting, for not having read Mauricio Brown’s mind when he exited the car Kenneth has been driving. For not having called out to stop a murder he did not know was going to be committed. He is being killed for not seeing the future, “sentenced to death for leaving his crystal ball at home,” as Amnesty puts it.

Our representatives, unlike Kenneth, can see the future. They know exactly the hour and the date that the killing of Kenneth Foster will take place. The state of Texas is methodically, inexorably plotting the death of Kenneth Foster, piece by piece, hour by hour.

Some politicians have built their careers on promises of racial equality — careers they’ve too often put ahead of the lives of individuals like Kenneth when it could make a difference. Texas is bucking a national trend against the death penalty. Texas kills with impunity, at least in part because none of our Democratic elected officials will call out to stop them. This may or may not make them “party” to Kenneth’s murder by some obscure legal standard — the important thing is that the cries for justice have been too infrequent.

We know that unjust laws like the “law of parties” are applied only to the voiceless and never to the powerful with their lawyers and policy advisers. But this doesn’t change the fact that those with power should speak out when their influence could make the difference. Or that it is long past time to call for a halt to the Civil Rights catastrophe that is the Texas killing machine, the fulcrum of the moral abyss that is the U.S. penal system. And if we cannot count on our elected officials to make this cry for justice heard, it will be up to us, at the grassroots — the kind of people represented so well Monday at Charles Rangel’s office — to make it heard.

What you can do:
Call the Governor and the Texas Board and urge them to grant clemency to Kenneth Foster:
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles:
Phone (512)406-5852
Fax (512)467-0945

Gov. Rick Perry
Phone (512)463-1782
Fax (512)463-1849

To get involved, go to www.freekenneth.com or email gro.ytlanephtaedonnull@cyn.

Ben Davis is a member of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty in New York City. Read other articles by Ben, or visit Ben's website.

11 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Abu Nurah said on August 29th, 2007 at 12:14pm #

    Thank you for this piece. I listened to the Democracy Now! broadcast regarding the case and heard Mr. Foster’s articulate daughter speak about her father. I pains me that there is not much we can do to save her father other than plead with these agents of injustice not to carry out this murder. We’re forced to remain civil in our protest while they plan and carry out their barbaric murder of an innocent man.

    I have lost respect for Congressman Rangel.

  2. William M. Ferretti said on August 29th, 2007 at 4:33pm #

    I lost respect for Rangel when he got up on his high hobby horse and criticized President Chavez for criticizing Bush.

  3. Hans Bennett said on August 29th, 2007 at 4:44pm #

    I just got off the phone (this Wed. evening) with Walidah Imarisha, a Philadelphia journalist/activist who is there in Texas where Kenneth Foster Jr. is set to be executed tomorrow. She told me that the Board of Pardons and Parole, has put off the decision regarding Kenneth until tomorrow.

    It was set to respond to the appeal today, where 5 out of the 7 members have to recommend pardon, and then Governor Rick Perry has to approve it. If the Board denies a pardon, Perry has the power to grant a 30 day stay.

    Imarisha reports that supporters of Kenneth in Texas are not quite “optimistic,” but are hoping for the best because this delay of decision means that the Board have been extensively talking about it and are therefore taking a long time to decide.

    Imarisha will call me tomorow as soon as there is anything new, and I will keep you posted.

    Hoping for the best,

    Hans Bennett

  4. Dudley Sharp said on August 29th, 2007 at 8:28pm #

    You wrote:

    “All five — yes, five — of the executions scheduled in Texas for this month are people of color (four are Black, one is Latino).”

    That is only a quirk of chance, nothing else. Please review.

    RACE: A Death Penalty Primer – No Bias in Death Penalty Sentencing
    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
    contact info below

    7 studies are reviewed, herein

    For emphasis, population count is totally irrelevant, regarding any consideration of class or race/ethnicity bias in the application of the death penalty. The only relevant factors in such a review are class, race/ethnic distribution of murderers and their victims in capital murders, as well as criminal history, the specific circumstances of the crime(s) and a review of individual prosecutorial jurisdictions.

    Study 1: Drs. Stephen Klein and John Rolph

    “After accounting for some of the many factors that may influence penalty decisions, neither race of the defendant nor race of the victim appreciably improved prediction of who was sentenced to death . . . “.

    “Relationship of Offender and Victim Race to Death Penalty Sentences in California”(Jurimetrics Journal, 32, Fall 1991, aka The Rand Corporation Study)

    Study 2: Smith College Professors Stanley Rothman and Stephen Powers found that legal variables, such as prior criminal history and the aggravated nature of the murder, are the proven basis for imposition of the death penalty. The black/white variation in sentencing has generally been reduced to zero when such legal variables are introduced as controls.

    “Execution by Quota?”, The Public Interest, Summer 1994

    Study 3: NO BIAS IN DEATH SENTENCING: U of Maryland’s Death Penalty Study (1)

    The following are direct quotes from the Executive Summary of the U of Maryland study.

    Race of the victim

    “The race of the victim effect does not hold up, however, at the decision of the state’s attorney to advance a case to penalty trial and at the decision of the judge or jury to impose a death sentence given that a penalty trial has occurred.” p 27

    In other words, the victim’s race has no impact on seeking or
    giving death sentences.

    “The race of the victim does not appear to matter when the decision is to advance a case to the penalty phase or to sentence a defendant to death after a penalty phase
    hearing.” page 29

    In other words, the victim’s race has no impact on seeking or
    giving death sentences

    “Among the subset of cases where the case actually does reach a penalty trial, the victim’s race does not have a significant impact on the imposition of a death sentence.” page 35

    In fact, the study fails to demonstrate that there is any race of the victim effect in death sentencing in Maryland.

    “When the prosecuting jurisdiction is added to the model the effect for the victims race diminishes substantially, and is no longer statistically significant.” page 32

    In other words, when you look at the capital murder cases, from each, separate jurisdiction, individually, any alleged race of the victim effect cannot be found.

    ” . . . any attempt to deal with any racial disparity in the imposition of the death penalty in Maryland cannot ignore the substantial variability that exists in different state’s attorney’s offices in the processing of death cases.” p 34

    In other words, it is important to look at how each jurisdiction handles their capital cases, because each jurisdiction is different. And when that is done, no bias in death sentencing is found.

    Race of victim and defendant

    “There is no race of the offender / victim effect at either the decision to advance a case to penalty hearing or the decision to sentence a defendant to death
    given a penalty hearing.” page 30

    In other words, neither the race of the defendant nor the race of the victim have an impact on seeking or giving death sentences.

    Race of the defendant

    ” . . . there is no evidence that the race of the defendant matters at any stage once case characteristics are controlled for.” page 26

    ” . . . we found no evidence that the race of the defendant matters in processing of capital cases in the state.” p 26

    In other words, Maryland is not looking at race, but is concentrating on the nature of the murders.

    (1) Executive Summary:
    An Empirical Analysis of Maryland’s Death Sentencing System with Respect to the Influence of Race and Legal Jurisdiction, www(DOT)urhome.umd.edu/newsdesk/pdf/exec.pdf

    Study 4: No Racial Bias in the New Jersey Death Penalty System

    New Jersey
    For release: February 11, 2003
    For further information contact
    Winnie Comfort, AOC
    (609) 292-9580
    Report on Proportionality Released

    Trenton, N.J.

    The 2002 report essentially mirrors the findings contained in the 2001 report, and may be summarized as follows:

    –There is no sustained, statistically significant evidence that the race of the defendant affects which cases advance to penalty trial. Although bivariate analysis reveals that a greater proportion of death-eligible white defendants than African-American defendants advance to the penalty phase, that finding is not supported by regression studies and application of case-sorting techniques. There is no sustained, statistically significant evidence that the race of the defendant affects which cases result in imposition of the death penalty. Again, although bivariate analysis reveals that a greater proportion of death-eligible white defendants are sentenced to death than African-American defendants, that finding is not supported by regression studies and application of case-sorting techniques.
    –There is statistically significant evidence that white victim cases are more likely than African-American victim cases to advance to penalty trial, but that finding is eradicated when county variability is taken into account. A disproportionate number of minority victim cases are tried in counties with the lowest overall rates of progression to penalty trial, while less urban counties with a high concentration of white victim cases have higher rates of capital prosecutions. Although Judge Baime notes that county variability may itself be a problem, he offers no opinion on the subject because that issue is well beyond the contours of his report.
    –There is no sustained, statistically significant evidence that white victim cases are more likely than minority victim cases to result in imposition of the death penalty

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has accepted the 2002 annual report prepared by Judge David S. Baime, a retired Appellate Division judge, on the monitoring of proportionality review in capital punishment cases in New Jersey. The Supreme Court adopted a monitoring system in 2000 to determine whether racial discrimination played a role in the administration of New Jersey’s capital cases.

    In his capacity as a “special master,” a role that requires extrajudicial expertise and work with court-appointed experts, Judge Baime prepared the “Report to the New Jersey Supreme Court: Systemic Proportionality Review Project 2001-2002 Term.” .

    Judge Baime was assisted by statistical analysts David Weisburd, a professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The University of Maryland, College Park, and Joseph Naus, a professor at Rutgers University. In an effort to provide the most accurate analysis possible, the monitoring system approved by the Court consists of three different statistical strategies: bivariate analyses, regression studies and case-sorting techniques. In order to establish systemic disproportionality, a defendant must relentlessly document the risk of racial disparity. This requires that the outcomes produced by the three modes of analysis substantially converge, or lead to the conclusion that racial discrimination plays a part in capital sentencing.

    The three modes of analysis were applied to three separate decision points: death outcomes at penalty trials, death outcomes among all death-eligible cases, as determined by Judge Baime and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), and advancement of death-eligible cases to penalty trials. Three identifiable groups–African-Americans, whites and Hispanics–were examined, and possible disparities in terms of the race or ethnicity of the defendant and the race or ethnicity of the victim were considered.

    Study 5: Pro & Con: The Death Penalty in Black and White
    by Dudley Sharp
    Thursday, June 24, 1999
    IntellectualCapital.com, 6/24/99.
    stored at http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/racism.htm

    I don’t know about you, but when I get into a discussion about the death penalty, my first thoughts go to the victim and to the brutality of the murder. That is the foundation of the just nature of the death penalty.

    Too often these days, however the death penalty is discussed in different terms. Inevitably, with the racial history of this country, the effect of race in the application of the death penalty has become a central part of the death-penalty discourse. This is particularly true as some politicians are making the case for a death-penalty moratorium, in part to consider whether the death penalty is inherently racist.

    All too often, however, those arguments are spurious. In the death penalty debate, it should be the facts, and not the hype, that are in be black and white.

    A closer look at the statistics

    Often such discussion begins with the obvious: the race of the defendant. The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) reports that black murderers represent 35% of those executed, white murderers 56%. As the argument goes, this must be evidence of systemic racism, as blacks represent 12% of the population, whites 74%.

    Fortunately, the United States does not execute people based on their population counts but on the murders they commit. As blacks represent 47% of murderers and whites 37%, we see that whites are twice as likely to be executed for committing murder as are their black counterparts.

    Furthermore, the Bureau of Justice Statistics says that whites sentenced to death are executed 17 months more quickly than blacks. With 98% of all head prosecutors in the United States being white, according to DPIC, how is such a result possible? Maybe prosecutors, judges and juries are focusing on the crimes and not the race of the defendant.

    That is not the case, say anti-death penalty groups, such as Amnesty International, and now the United Nations. If you adjust for the specific aggravating factors present within capital crimes, you find clear evidence of racism.

    Death-penalty opponents note, for example, that the Supreme Court, in the famous race-based challenge to the death penalty (McCleskey v. Kemp), found in 1987 that those who murderer whites were 4.3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murder blacks, under similar circumstances.

    David Baldus, who did the statistical study on McCleskey’s behalf, also completed a recent study in Philadelphia where it is was reported to show that black murderers were four times more likely to receive a death sentence than white murderers. With such results, how can anyone dispute the racist application of the death penalty?

    Quite easily.

    The Supreme Court, as well as many others, confused odds with multiples. The data reflect odds of 4-to-1, not four times more likely.

    What difference does it make?

    In Baldus’ Philadelphia study, we find that if only 2% more white murderers had been sentenced to death and only 2.5% fewer black murderers had been sentenced to death, then each group would have been sentenced to death by juries at the same rate — a far cry from the 400% differential stated within the incorrect interpretation of “four times”!

    A punishment that fits the crimes

    The next issue raised is the victim’s race. While blacks and whites comprise about an equal number of murder victims, the ratio of white-to-black victims in death-penalty cases is about 7-to-1. This has given rise to the allegation that the “system” only cares about white murder victims. A horrible accusation, if true.

    However, the ratio of white-to-black victims in the aggravated circumstances necessary for a capital murder conviction (rape, robbery, car-jacking, burglary, police murders, serial/multiple murders, etc.) is from 4-to-1 to 8-to-1 — numbers consistent with the victim ratios on death row.

    The final resting place for the racism charge lies within those cases where blacks have been executed for murdering whites and whites have been executed for murdering blacks. There have been 144 blacks and 10 whites executed under such circumstances, or a ratio of 14-to-1. As blacks are about 2.5 times more likely to murder whites than the other way around, there appears to be a huge disparity in such executions. Is racism the reason?

    If we look at robbery, the aggravated crime found most often in capital cases, we find that when there is a robbery with injury, the ratio of black robber/white victims versus white robbers/black victims is 21-to-1.

    Again, when looking at the circumstances consistent with capital crimes, we find no evidence of racial bias.

    The determining factor for sentencing in death-penalty cases is what it should be — the aggravating nature of the crimes. Both the Rand Corp. study of 1991 and the research presented by Smith College professors Stanley Rothman and Stephen Powers in 1994 confirm that finding. In other words, it appears that any racial variations present within the data are reflective of the crimes themselves and not racial bias within the system. A review of those studies, as well as of criminal-justice statistics, within the context of the aggravating circumstances present within capital murders and the related statutes, produces the same conclusion.

    Don’t assume the worst motives

    There will always be some variables of race, ethnicity and class within any study of criminal-justice practices, and based on historic, as well as current prejudices, we can never lower our guard. Because all studies are subject to poor protocols, bias and misinterpretation, we must make reasoned judgments based on as many respected considerations as we may have at our disposal.

    And even if criminal-justice statistics did not show the obvious correlation between crimes and the application of the death penalty, we should note what the Supreme Court stated in McCleskey: “Where the discretion that is fundamental to our criminal justice process is involved, we decline to assume that what is unexplained [by measured factors] is invidious.” Sound ideas should not be eliminated based on misguided statistics.

    In the case of the death penalty, the facts lead to only one conclusion. No moratorium is necessary.

    Study 6: Death Penalty Opponents Distortions are the Real Story

    “To properly protect the people in Baltimore City and other jurisdictions like it, we must restore public confidence in and support of capital punishment, so that prosecutors can seek it in appropriate cases, and jurors will impose it. The first step toward that end is to debunk the myth that capital punishment is imposed discriminatorily. The numbers are there, in the opponents’s own studies, once we cut through the spin and look at the facts.”

    Smoke and Mirrors on Race and the Death Penalty, Kent Scheidegger, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, Engage Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 2, 10/2003 www(DOT)cjlf.org/deathpenalty/EngageArticle.pdf

    Study 7: Full Review Finds no Bias

    “From 1976-1995, 5 white murderers have been put to death for the murder of black persons and 101 black murderers have been put to death for the murder of white persons (NAACP LDF, 1996). Opponents falsely contend that this is evidence of racism in the “system”. That 101:5 ratio, or 20:1, is consistent with statistics that show aggravated crimes (those crimes committed with the murder which may make a crime eligible for the death penalty) are committed by blacks against whites in far greater numbers than by whites against blacks. For all violent crimes, there are ten times as many black offenders (2,016,939) involved in white victim violent crimes as there are white offenders (210,869) involved in black victim violent crimes, or a 10:1 ratio. (The State of Violent Crime in America, pg. 12,1/96, data derived from Criminal Victimization in the U.S., 1993, BJS forthcoming, tables 42 and 48. Multiple offenders were assumed to be two offenders for calculation purposes.) In addition, blacks are nearly three times as likely to murder whites (849), as whites are to murder blacks (304), or 3:1 (Sourcebook 1994, BJS 1995, table 3.123). IF murder rates are statistically consistent within the violent crime category, as McCleskey et al indicate, then blacks are, statistically, by a 30:1 (10:1 X 3:1) ratio, more likely to murder whites, than whites are to murder blacks, in those circumstances where an additional aggravating factor is present (see C2). These are those crimes most eligible for the death penalty. That statistically projected ratio of 30:1 is hardly inconsistent with the 20:1 ratio for black offender(s)/white victim vs white offender(s)/black victim executions. The most relevant aggravated crime is robbery with injury, wherein blacks are 21 times more likely to be involved in such crimes as are whites. This 21:1 ratio represents 1.4 million black offender(s)/white victim vs. 68,000 white offender(s)/black victim for robbery with injury crimes (JFA, using BJS, 1977-84 data). IF overall murder statistics are consistent, within this crime category, as McCleskey et al suggests, then there is a 30-60:1 ratio of black on white vs white on black murders within this robbery/murder category. (From 1977-1984).”

    Excerpt from “C. RACE, SENTENCING AND THE DEATH PENALTY”, paragraph No. 5., DEATH PENALTY AND SENTENCING INFORMATION In the United States, 10/1/97, by Dudley Sharp, http://prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html#C.Race

  5. Kill the Punk said on August 30th, 2007 at 5:30am #

    Why do you care so much about this hood?

    What are you, a bunch of patsies?

    Read on his MySpace page about his crime spree — driving around jacking innocent people, women and couples, ending in murder.

    This guy is a piece of shit. Who cares if he’s executed? Sad for his family and friends, but that’s the breaks. It’s worse for the innocent people who were his victims.

  6. yeahsure said on August 30th, 2007 at 5:31am #

    let’s see if you pass that comment or only post propaganda like the good stalinist anti-americans you are. . ..

  7. Abu Nurah said on August 30th, 2007 at 9:00am #

    Kill, many of us care when an innocent person is executed. Where’s your evidence. This young man is guilty of nothing other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time. All you blind patriots talk about America being the best country in the world, but cases like this prove otherwise.

  8. Max Fields said on August 30th, 2007 at 10:31am #

    There are three points: 1) no one disagrees that Kenneth was party to murder. He neither planned nor carried out a murder. 2) the penel system in this country has nothing to do with justice. 3) few countries and no so-called “advanced” nations perform executions.

  9. commuted said on August 30th, 2007 at 10:40am #

    Governor commuted his sentence to Life.

  10. Chris Purcell said on August 30th, 2007 at 7:57pm #

    I have been seeking news about what happened to Kenneth. I contacted as many people as I could to be an advocate for Kenneth. I cannot tell you how happy I am that his sentence was commuted. Hopefully, he will one day be free but thank God that he was not executed. I must say, I applaud the Governor’s decision. We do need to stop putting people in prison in this country. Our prison population is growing far too fast. When the Scooter Libby’s can be pardoned, one has to wonder about real justice. Thank God for Kenneth’s life. Shame on our society for having come so close to executing him.

  11. some consolation said on August 31st, 2007 at 6:06am #

    what a whiner. what a phony. hope foster enjoys his next 50 years in a cage, and all the shit he’s going to put his little girl through.

    such horseshit that he’s not guilty of murder. he was the driver — if he hadn’t driven the shooter there, that innocent guy wouldn’t be dead — it’s completely foster’s fault