Kenneth Foster: 10 Days

Kenneth Foster's execution remains set for August 30th. As I have mentioned before Foster is sentenced to die for his involvement in a homicide in 1996. Foster was over 80 feet away when a friend of his, who was a passenger in the car Foster had been driving that night, shot and killed a man. The shooter was executed last summer. The undisputed facts in all of this are that Kenneth Foster did not shoot anyone, Foster did not see the shooting take place, and Foster was in the car at the time of the shooting. Foster and others who were at the scene claim he had no idea a shooting was going to take place. However, the Texas "Law of Parties" allows people in Kenneth's position to be sentenced to death. It is, truly, punishment for wrong place, wrong time.


  1. A Youtube group has been set up for people to submit videos aimed, ultimately, at Texas Governor Perry calling for Foster to be spared the death penalty. You can view or submit videos here.
  2. I will be trying to update this blog daily up until August 30th with news stories that arise out of Kenneth Foster's plight.
  3. Author Dave Zirin wrote to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (the letter was published August 19) concerning a silly power play by the Department of Corrections concerning correspondence between Zirin and Foster. Zirin's letter can be read right here. In brief, the Department of Corrections refused to let Foster receive the first book written by Zirin on the subject of Jackie Robinson. The reason given for denying Foster the chance to read an uplifting story days before he is put to death was out of fear that the words in the book may lead, "offender disruption such as strikes or riot". Zirin's analysis of the situation is particularly astute, he writes, "The officials' fear that ideas -- even the ideas of sports history -- could cause a crisis in the Texas prisons reveals only how aware the Lone Star jailers are of how inhumanely they treat their prisoners."
Having some experience working with prisoners this appears to be a classic case of petty institutional punishment of prisoners who "make waves". In my experience prisoners that contacted lawyers and/or complained about conditions or abusive guards were almost without fail faced with sometimes petty and often times serious and violent retribution at the hands of prison officials. This was such a problem that correspondence with prisoners often included warnings and reminders that what they say or do may be answered not with solutions to their complaints but vindictive action by their jailers.

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