Texas is scheduled to execute Jeff Wood on August 24, 2016, even though he never killed anyone, had no previous criminal history, and suffers from borderline intellectual functioning and mental illness. Although Wood was involved in a robbery, he didn’t plan to kill anyone and wasn’t even inside the gas station when the victim, Kris Keeran, was shot. He was sitting in a truck outside.
The execution of a person who is not the “triggerman” is extremely rare. In fact, the Texas Board of Paroles and Pardons has recommended commutations for two people who, like Wood, did not take a life themselves.
At Wood’s sentencing hearing, jury members didn’t hear evidence that might have caused them to spare his life. Due to his mental impairments – which should have rendered him incompetent to stand trial – Wood told his lawyers not to present any evidence on his behalf or to cross-examine witnesses.
Not only did the jury miss out on details of Wood’s impairments, they were also presented with false and misleading testimony from a psychiatrist who never evaluated Wood. The same psychiatrist had been expelled from the American Psychiatric Association for ethical violations identical to his conduct in Wood’s case.
We only have a short window to get as many emails as possible to the Board and to the Governor, so please take action now and share with your friends.