Rally to Stop Execution of Jeff Wood, Saturday July 23, at Texas Governor’s Mansion

Texas_governors_mansionAttend the rally to stop the execution of Jeff Wood at the Texas Governor’s Mansion on Saturday, July 23, 2016.

Tell Governor Abbott and the Board of Pardons and Paroles to stop the execution of Jeff Wood! Texas has set his execution for August 24th – despite the fact that he killed no one.

Meet at the front gate of the mansion at 4 PM, 1010 Colorado St, Austin, Texas.

Terri Been, sister of Jeff Wood, will speak at the rally, as well as others.

Sponsors include Texas Moratorium Network, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement. Contact the organizers on the event page to be listed as a co-sponsor.

 

In 2007, we stopped the execution of Kenneth Foster – also sentenced under the Law of Parties in Texas. Since then, this law has been scrutinized by the Texas legislature, although they haven’t taken action to change it. People are looking at this law and at Jeff’s case – and we have a chance to save him!

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Here are are some actions you can take:
FOR TEXANS: Attend and spread the word about this rally for Jeff, planned for Saturday, July 23rd at 4PM at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin, TX.
*For information about a caravan from Houston, please visit contact the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement at https://www.facebook.com/groups/272…
Sign and share this petition for Jeff Wood. We need to gather as many signatures as possible over the next few weeks.
Write a clemency letter for Jeff – and think of others you can ask to write a letter, including prominent people in your community. Copies of your letter should be mailed to both the Governor of Texas and the Board of Pardons and Paroles. A sample clemency letter, with addresses for both, can be found here: http://nodeathpenalty.org/sites/def…
*Please also send a copy of your letter to the Save Jeff Wood Campaign at 246 County Road 7611, Devine, Texas, 78016
Donate to the campaign to Save Jeff Wood. As the fundraising page states – we need funds to pay for printing, postage, travel, hosting death row exonerates and others to speak out for Jeff, as well as other unforeseen expenses.
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Jeff was charged under the controversial Law of Parties, and was not the shooter in this crime, nor was he even in the building when the shooting took place. This unjust law states that even though a co-defendant may NOT have participated in the crime or caused a death, he can still face the death penalty. It also states that he should have “anticipated” the crime; which was not possible in this case as Jeff had no knowledge that a robbery would even be taking place that day, let alone a murder. Even if a person did not harm anyone, they can still get the death penalty if they were involved in a crime where someone else killed a person, because they should have “anticipated that a human life would be taken.”

Help Texas Man Set for Execution Under Law of Parties – Jeff Wood Did Not Kill Anyone

unnamedJeff Wood is scheduled for execution in Texas on August 24, 2016 under the law of parties even though he did not kill anyone. We need to persuade the Texas governor and members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute Jeff’s death sentence. I have known Jeff’s family for many years. His sister Terri Been is leading the effort to #savejeffwood. She has testified to the Texas Legislature to ban executions under the Law of Parties and spoken out many times to save her brother from an unjust execution.

We created a petition to David G. Gutiérrez, Chair, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Greg Abbott, which says:

“We are petitioning to save Jeff Wood from unjustly being put to death by the state of Texas on August 24, 2016 for a murder he did not commit. Jeff was charged under the controversial Law of Parties. He was not the shooter in this crime, nor was he even in the building when the shooting took place. This unjust law states that even though a co-defendant may not have killed anyone, he can still face the death penalty, because of the actions of another person.

The actual shooter in this case, Daniel Reneau, has already been executed by the state of Texas.”

Four things to do:

1) Will you sign our petition? Click here to add your name.

 2) You can also donate to the clemency campaign. We have about two months to move the public, the governor and the Board of Pardons and Paroles and we need about $1,000 for the clemency campaign.

3) Attend the rally July 23 at the Texas Governor’s Mansion in Austin.

4) Write a clemency letter to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and to Governor Greg Abbott. Send the letters separately to each of their addresses.

David Gutiérrez, Presiding Officer Board of Pardons and Paroles, Executive Clemency Section 8610 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Austin, TX 78757

Governor Gregg Abbott, Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, Texas 78711-2428

On July 23, we will hold a rally at the Texas Governor’s Mansion.

In 2009, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would have banned executions of people convicted under the law of parties. The bill died in the Senate. It will be introduced again in the next legislative session in January 2017.

Jeff’s case is similar to Kenneth Foster’s, whose death sentence was commuted in 2007 by Governor Rick Perry after many people wrote clemency letters and more than 17,000 people signed a petition urging Perry to commute the death sentence, since Foster had not killed anyone. He was sentenced under the law of parties.

There have been only ten executions in the U.S. of people convicted under law of parties statutes. Five of those people were executed in Texas.

Terri Been wrote on Facebook:

I humbly ask you to help my family by taking a few minutes of your time to read a few facts regarding Jeff’s case and to sign his petition that we will be sending the governor! While you are on Jeff’s Web Page, I also ask that you take an extra minute or two to look at the other information we have in the how you can help section. For those of you who are familiar with Kenneth Foster’s case (which is very similar to Jeff’s case) it took their family over 17,000 messages to the Governor and the Board of Pardons and Paroles to get his sentence commuted to Life. This was accomplished by sending petitions, faxes, letters, and by making phone calls. I am eternally grateful for every single signature, but I need more. I need calls, letters and faxes to go along with the petition signatures.

I humbly ask that you help my family. Jeff is my baby brother and he did not kill anybody! Please ask yourselves what you would do if you were in my situation. What lengths would you go to if this was your family member?

Short case summary: At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Jan. 2, 1996, while Wood waited outside, Reneau entered the gas station with a gun and pointed it at Kris Keeran, the clerk standing behind the counter. Reneau ordered him to a back room. When he did not move quickly enough, Reneau fired one shot with a 22 caliber handgun that struck Keeran between the eyes. Death was almost instantaneous. Proceeding with the robbery, Reneau went into the back office and took a safe. When hearing the shot, Wood got out of the car to see what was going on. He walked by the door and looked through the glass. Then he went inside, and he looked over the counter and ran to the back, where Reneau was. Wood was then ordered, at gun point by Reneau, to get the surveillance video and to drive the getaway-car.

Sign the petition, please.

Tison v. Arizona, 481 U.S. 137 (1987), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court applied the proportionality principle to conclude that the death penalty was an appropriate punishment for a felony murderer who was a major participant in the underlying felony and exhibited a reckless indifference to human life.

If it goes to the Court again in the Wood case, they should be asked to find that enough change has occurred in public opinion since 1987 that there is now a national consensus that the death penalty should be banned in law of parties cases.

Terri Been Appeals for Help to Save Her Brother Jeff Wood

22295634089_df6ac65155_oHello,

My name is Terri Been and I am the sister of a man WRONGFULLY convicted of murder under the brutal and controversial “law of parties” in Texas. This man’s name is Jeffery Wood and he is set to die on August 24th, 2016 for a murder he did NOT commit.

I am writing and putting this out in the world, because I am once again feeling helpless, and I do not know what I else I can do. For almost 20 years I have been desperately searching for a way to help save the life of my brother. These days, I still find myself slave to the computer…at first I was a slave to the computer, waiting for the worst…to see my brother’s name upon the list of those waiting to be executed. That time has come and gone, but I still find myself still a slave to the computer in hopes of finding people who can help us in our fight against the Texas Judicial System.

With the execution date set less than 3 months from now, we are running out of time. We are desperate for exposure with people who have some kind of influence on the public, or people who know other people who may be able to help. If you have any thoughts, ideas, or just anything that may help…please feel free to get in touch with me.

We lost our original webpage for unknown reasons, but we now have another homepage for Jeff in addition to a new online petition that is circulating, (which can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/governor-abbott-and-the-texas-board-of-pardons-and-parole-demand-justice-for-jeff-wood-5807b015-014a-4a21-8c6e-e34be865c27c?recruiter=12756&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink or on his homepage at the following web address: www.savejeffwood.com). We are still trying to get all of the information updated, so please keep checking for regular news and updates.

I humbly ask you to help my family by taking a few minutes of your time to read a few facts regarding Jeff’s case and to sign his petition that we will be sending the governor! While you are on Jeff’s Web Page, I also ask that you take an extra minute or two to look at the other information we have in the how you can help section. For those of you who are familiar with Kenneth Foster’s case (which is very similar to Jeff’s case) it took their family over 17,000 messages to the Governor and the Board of Pardons and Paroles to get his sentence commuted to Life. This was accomplished by sending petitions, faxes, letters, and by making phone calls. I am eternally grateful for every single signature, but I need more. I need calls, letters and faxes to go along with the petition signatures.

I humbly ask that you help my family. Jeff is my baby brother and he did not kill anybody! Please ask yourselves what you would do if you were in my situation. What lengths would you go to if this was your family member?

While I am trying to save my brother because he is innocent of murder, I am fighting to abolish the death penalty completely. Please feel free to repost this document if you feel compelled to do so. Also, please take a few minutes to look at the few videos I have on my page…they are very powerful clips and will make you think.

If you do decide that you are interested in helping us save my brother’s life; please forward this to as many people as you know. I need at least 1000 signatures on the petition before we can send it in. And again, I am also desperate for letters, and faxes to be sent to the governor and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles as well.

I feel that the more who know about this and participate in it, the better it will be for all inmates who face death, not just my brother. Up until this point, we have done what we have been told to do…’sit back, and let the system work.’ BUT the system has failed my brother, failed his daughter, and failed those of us who love him…Now we are just desperate!
Your help, guidance, and consideration to this matter will be greatly appreciated…more than you will ever know!

I thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter! Again, your help will be greatly appreciated! God Bless You All and thank you for all that you do!!!!

In struggle,
Terri Been
mystrus@hotmail.com
P.S. I am very tired and worn out, so please forgive any grammatical or spelling errors as I just cannot seem to think these days!

Rep Dutton’s Bill to End Death Penalty in Law of Parties Cases Passes House Committee

dutton

Rep. Harold Dutton

In another success stemming from the Statewide Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty back on March 3, Rep. Harold Dutton’s bill to ban the death penalty in law of parties cases (HB 341) has been approved by the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, which recommended that it “be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass”. The vote was 4-2. Two Republicans and two Democrats voted yes. One Republican and one Democrat voted no. And one Republican was absent.

The bi-partisan support for the bill bodes well for it to gain enough support to pass the entire House. Please contact your Texas state representative and urge them to support HB 341.

HB 341 was one of the bills that people lobbied for on the Statewide Texas Lobby Day to Abolish the Death Penalty on March 3. When the bill was heard in committee, we returned to the capitol to support it. One of the people who testified in support of it in the committee hearing was Terri Been, whose brother Jeff Wood is on death row in a law of parties case even though he did not kill anyone himself and did not intend anyone to be killed. He was outside in a car when another person killed a convenience store clerk.

Before it can reach the floor of the House for a vote by all the members of the House, it must first pass the Calendars Committee. Below are the members of the Calendars Committee.

Position Member
Chair: Rep. Todd Hunter
Vice Chair: Rep. Eddie Lucio III
Members: Rep. Roberto R. Alonzo
Rep. Byron Cook
Rep. Sarah Davis
Rep. Charlie Geren
Rep. Helen Giddings
Rep. Patricia Harless
Rep. Dan Huberty
Rep. Eric Johnson
Rep. Ken King
Rep. Lyle Larson
Rep. Four Price
Rep. Debbie Riddle
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez

HB 341

The chair laid out HB 341.

Representative Canales moved that HB 341, without amendments, be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed.  The motion prevailed by the following record vote:

Ayes:                           Representatives Herrero; Canales; Leach; Simpson (4).

Nays:                           Representatives Moody; Shaheen (2).

Present, Not Voting:   None (0).

Absent:                        Representative Hunter (1).

Information from 2008 and 2009

 


Video of news footage from KABB in San Antonio of Texas Moratorium Network’s February 24, 2009 press conference at the Texas Capitol on the Law of Parties with the Law of Parties bill sponsor Rep Harold Dutton, Lawrence Foster and Kenneth Foster Sr, Steven Been (brother-in-law of Jeff Wood), Mary Ellen Felps and Texas Moratorium Network’s Scott Cobb.