Texas Gov. Spares Prisoner Hours Before Execution
Kenneth Foster was sentenced to death as accomplice to 1996 murder
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 30, 2007 5:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry commuted a death-row prisoner's sentence to life imprisonment today, six hours before he was to die for his role in a 1996 murder. Kenneth Foster drove the getaway car in a robbery gone awry, and under Texas law was eligible for the death penalty. Perry, in granting the reprieve, followed the advice of a state board.

Perry took issue with the fact that Foster was tried simultaneously with the murderer, saying state lawmakers should examine the law that allows that scenario. The timing of the reprieve was unusual for Perry, the Houston Chronicle reports, with the commutation the first in his eight-plus years in office coming so close to a scheduled execution.