Friday, August 31, 2007

Who is Kenneth Foster, JR, and why should he die?

Arrested in 1996 for "driving a gettaway car". Sentenced to die. Should he be put to death?

11 comments:

Ryan said...

Kenneth Foster should not be executed. Texas has unique laws regarding capital punishment, and some of the state's sentencing laws are considered arguable by even the most conservative, pro-death penalty residents of Texas. One such law is that applied in Foster's case. It is bad enough that we're executing murderers and rapists, but mere conspirators should not be included among those eligible for the death penalty. There is too much room for error here. It is difficult enough to prove murder and rape (crimes typically resulting in the death penalty); proving that Foster "should" have anticipated murder that night is unreasonable. The most we can demonstrate is that Foster expected armed robbery. Aside from that, he's no psychic; how could/should he have anticipated that violent robbery earlier in the night meant that murder would transpire later? It seems as though Texas' unique law, as applied, required that Foster was a psychic. Indeed, Texas' governor commuted Foster's sentence to life in prison -- perhaps this Texas governor is intelligent enough to know that Foster does not have psychic abilities.

Jen said...

I agree with Ryan completely in regards to Foster's presumed prior knowledge of the incidents that occured that night. It seems entirely unfeasable that Foster could have foreseen even the possibility that a murder might occur. Furthermore, we live in a country where we have both the fiscal means and the technology to use DNA testing as a primary means of evidence in many murder trials, and we are still exonerating and posthumously pardoning those who have been wrongly convicted of murder. In light of those facts, it seems wrong to sentence someone to death who has not directly killed a person.

MadMax said...

This man had shot 2 people previously. He participated in a crime rampage which he did nothing to stop. He showed no remorse in trial, and taunted the victim's family. A jury of 12 believed he should die after listening to the whole trial, and his incarceration probably saved many lives. Why do you want him granted clemency? Best of all is Desmond Tutu involvement. His energies would be better spent in Africa or is it too serene a continent?

This man doesn't deserve to live, he has proven to be more of an animal than a human, yet his life was spared because it was "politically correct."

Eddie G. Griffin said...

Justice is done. Praise the Lord.

Libby said...

While Foster committed a serious crime as an accomplice he is not deserving of the death penalty. To quote his father, Kenneth Foster Sr., "Why should he give his life for a life he did not take?". While Foster has committed other crimes in the past, sentencing him with life in prison without parole would prohibit him from committing any similar crimes again. Foster also should not be executed because he played a similar role to that of DeWayne Dillard whose gun was used to kill LaHood. If Dillard's life was spared and he received a life sentence, why wasn't Foster given the same treatment? It would be more reasonably arguable for the court and LaHood's family to think Dillard knew violence would take place seeing as he brought the gun, whereas Foster could have had no way of knowing the robbery would result in murder. Foster deserves to be punished, but does not deserve a punishment as harsh as execution.

jurisprudence said...

Texas law- accomplices to murder are subject to the death penalty if the murder "should have been anticipated."
Criminals should check the law before they commit crimes. The frequency of which Texas executes people is not the issue. If Texans do not the like Texas law they have two options: leave
Texas or convince their reps to change the law. However as it stands the majority of Texans, according to the New York Times, agree with the death penalty. This law was made by the Texas legislature aka "the people." It is not unconstitutional and though it may be considered harsh it is not unjust; it is what Texans deem an appropriate punishment. Furthermore, Foster had justice. 12 citizens found him guilty and he even exercised his right to appeal, but this is the punishment Texas gives for his crime. Since he doesn't like it he should not have committed the crime in Texas and perhaps should have traveled to a more lenient state.
I understand the big legal question here is whether he could have anticipated the murder. I noticed one blogger commenting that it was impossible for him to anticipate because Foster is not psychic.
Yet psychic ability is not necessary for anticipation common sense is. The facts of the case state that Foster drove his accomplices around on a robbery spree earlier that evening, where his accomplices held up 4 people at gunpoint. Thus he knew his friends had a gun. Even if he didn't see the gun, which I'm sure he did, he must have assumed they had one since it is the likely means to coerce people out of their property. And most murders occur via a gun. In my opinion the fact that his accomplices had a gun should lead him to anticipate that murder was a possibility. Because with each robbery or crime the victim has two options, fight back or acquiesce. In the event that the victim fights back what are the robbers prepared to do, esp. if they have a gun? Um shoot, right? Whether they would have or not, it is still and "anticipated" probability. Now the events may not have gone exactly that way but the fact remains that for every robbery or crime there is a possibility that something could go wrong and with the involvement of a gun on can anticipate violence or death. Therefore, the mere fact that Foster knew a gun was present leads him to anticipate murder as a possible, in fact probable result and under the Texas state law eligible for execution. Again, just because the Texas law is harsh doesn't mean that it is unjust or that Foster does not deserve to die. As for Foster Sr.'s comment, "Why should he give his life for a life he did not take?” he drove the gunman there did he not? Thus he aided LaHood's death and was a crucial factor in his murder. Murder can be a team effort and Foster definitely played his part.

pud2you said...

The most questionable legal issue in this case in undoubtedly whether or not the murder was anticipated. It is true that in a robbery, which is a crime in itself, there is a greater likelihood for the situation to go wrong. However that is matter of probability rather than intention. There was no anticipated intention. A chance event could happen at anytime; there is an anticipated probability that you could get in a car accident and kill someone. You know full well that it COULD happen but that by no means does that imply that you intended for it to. If everything were based on anticipated probability of something going wrong, anyone and everyone could be at stake all the time. I find the intention more important rather than the probability. If there was anticipated intention, I would more fully be able to support his sentence to death. However since that intention was not apparent, I do not find it reasonable to take the life of the man who was unsuspecting of the murder.
Furthermore, don’t you think the owner of the gun, DeWayne Dillard, who was not the one who pulled the trigger but had ownership nonetheless, would have had greater intention of murder than the mere driver? What punishment did he/should he and the fourth accomplice receiver for being bystanders also?

yrjb11 said...

Kenneth Foster is clearly not innocent in any way yet was not the one to pull the trigger and therefore, does not deserve execution. Foster carries a very unimpressive past record and does not seem as though he is doing anything to change his past as he set out on the spree of robberies after consuming alot of alcohol and smoking marijuana and then driving which is breaking three laws of consuming alcohol under the age of 21, smoking marijuana and driving under the influence of alcohol. Clearly the four men were not up to anthing good and Foster must have known nothing good would come out of this as a .44-caliber gun was brought on the trip. Overall, Kenneth Foster is obviously a bad person not worthy of a life out of prison at any point. He made the decision to continue to drive the get away car even after the crime had been committed which made the whole thing possible. Overall, he is a bad person but should not pay the price for not taking someone's life. This was not anticipated and therefore, Foster should be able to life live in prison.

yrjb11 said...

Kenneth Foster is clearly not innocent in any way yet was not the one to pull the trigger and therefore, does not deserve execution. Foster carries a very unimpressive past record and does not seem as though he is doing anything to change his past as he set out on the spree of robberies after consuming alot of alcohol and smoking marijuana and then driving which is breaking three laws of consuming alcohol under the age of 21, smoking marijuana and driving under the influence of alcohol. Clearly the four men were not up to anthing good and Foster must have known nothing good would come out of this as a .44-caliber gun was brought on the trip. Overall, Kenneth Foster is obviously a bad person not worthy of a life out of prison at any point. He made the decision to continue to drive the get away car even after the crime had been committed which made the whole thing possible. Overall, he is a bad person but should not pay the price for not taking someone's life. This was not anticipated and therefore, Foster should be able to life live in prison.

aditi said...

Kenneth Foster should not have been given a death sentence. A life long imprisonment seems more just as he was in some part involved in the crime and should therefore face the consequences. However, he did not know that the murder was going to take place and hence the death penalty seems too harsh a punishment in this case. Recently in Mumbai, a teen boy took 9 lives in a case of drunk driving. He went to prison. But should the other kids who were in the car with him also have received the same punishment as him for a crime they did not commit? They were all in the car that drove over those people, but how could they, the others I mean, have any way of knowing this would happen? True, they should have known that their friend was intoxicated and yes they should all face punishment of some sort (which they did not but that is a different story) but they should most definitely not have faced the same consequences as Alistair Pereira (the boy who was driving the vehicle). In the same way though Kenneth Foster should receive a prolonged sentenced, the death penalty seems too harsh a penalty. By killing him aren't we too becoming the �monsters� we are trying to eliminate?

kathan said...

First of all, I don't believe in the death penalty under any circumstance. Foster shouldn't have been on death row in the first place because he never committed a murder. But I would like to address jurisprudence's comment:

"The frequency of which Texas executes people is not the issue."

I think that the fact that Texas, just last month, reached its 400th execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 is a huge issue. Foster's case calls attention to that, especially because Foster was not personally responsible for the murder of LaHood. The fact that the U.S. (even if it isn't all of the U.S.) still supports the death penalty is appalling. No matter the crime, I don't think that anyone has the right to decide who should live and who should die.