Too long has passed since I have written about death penalty cases. I grieve the executions I have missed and give thanks for those who have raised their voices against the them.
The State of Texas is scheduled to execute Cleve Foster on Tuesday for his role in the abduction and slaying of Nyaneur Pal a decade ago near Fort Worth. Twice before his execution has come close. Each time he received a reprieve. He maintains his innocence.
Foster and a companion, Sheldon Ward, were convicted of fatally shooting Pal. She seen talking with Foster and Ward at a Fort Worth bar. Evidence indicated that she had been raped and shot in the head.
“A gun identified as the murder weapon was found in a motel room where Foster and Ward were living. Authorities determined the same gun was used two months earlier to kill another woman, 22-year-old Rachel Urnosky, at her Fort Worth apartment. She also had been raped.
Foster blames Pal’s death on Ward. At his trial, Prosecutors argued that “evidence showed Foster actively participated in the woman’s killing, offered no credible explanations, lied and gave contradictory stories about his sexual activities with Pal.”
I grieve for Nyaneur Pal and for her family and friends. Her death is a tragedy – an obscenity – as is the death of Rachel Urnosky. Their deaths diminish us all.
However, executing Cleve Foster will not bring Nyaneur back. It will be act of vengeance; it will preclude possible reconciliation. It may even prevent the truth from coming out.
Executions do not reverse horrible crimes. Violence begets violence. We have alternatives.
See you along the Trail.