22 August 2007


Stop the Execution of Kenneth Foster!

We print below an August 22 letter from the Partisan Defense Committee to Texas governor Rick Perry protesting the scheduled August 30 execution of Kenneth Foster, Jr., a writer, poet and fighter for prison reform who has been on Texas death row for ten years.

The Partisan Defense Committee demands that your office stop the execution of Kenneth Foster, Jr. We join in the worldwide outrage against the scheduled legal lynching of this man who has never killed anyone.

Mr. Foster is charged under Texas’ infamous Law of Parties, which permits someone to be executed for the acts of others. In this case, it was a passenger in Mr. Foster’s car who was accused and convicted of murder. Like hundreds of poor and black prisoners on death row, Mr. Foster was saddled with legal counsel who failed to mount a vigorous defense or appeal. Now he is threatened with execution for a crime he did not commit.

The impending execution of Mr. Foster exemplifies what the racist death penalty is all about. It is a legacy of chattel slavery and a barbaric outrage, it is the lynch rope made legal.

Mr. Foster has put it eloquently: “Texas is about to commit a vile injustice. What is about to happen is beyond extreme—it’s sadistic.” We say again: Stop the execution of Kenneth Foster, Jr.!