Texas Parole Board Unanimously Recommends Clemency for Whitaker

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Today, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously to recommend clemency for Thomas Whitaker.  Whitaker is scheduled to be executed on Thursday for his role in arranging the murders of his mother and brother.  His father also was shot in the ambush and survived; he has forgiven his son and has been asking for clemency for him.

Reuters reports that, at a news conference after the board’s recommendation, Kent Whitaker said that “Victim’s rights should mean something in this state even when the victim is asking for mercy and not vengeance.”

The Texas Coalition Against the Death Penalty says since 1982, the parole board has recommended clemency in only four cases where the prisoner faced imminent execution.

This is justice. We can only hope that Gov. Greg Abbott follows the board’s recommendation.

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