Texas Readies to Kill Man—Who Killed No One—for Murder

Texas—the state that leads the nation (pdf) in number of executions—is on the brink of killing Jeffery Wood.

His execution is scheduled for Aug. 24, which is “just five days after his 43rd birthday, for a crime that everyone, including prosecutors, admits he did not commit,”Jordan Smith wrote at The Intercept.

He’s been on death row since 1998. Two years earlier, as the Austin Chronicle reported, he was arrested

So why is Wood about to face a lethal injection of pentobarbital?

Hooman Hedayati, an attorney and a member of the Texas Moratorium Network Board of Directors, explained in an op-ed at the Austin American-Statesman last month:

Human rights group Amnesty International issued an “urgent alert” Friday to help stop the execution, noting that Wood “has a history of emotional and intellectual impairments, and an IQ consistently assessed at about 80.”

An additional troubling aspecting of the case, Amnesty writes, is that

The case prompted roughly 50 Evangelical leaders from across the county to write to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday, urging them to stop the execution. “Officials have a moral obligation to rectify this mistake and stop this execution while they still can,” they wrote, adding, “It deeply troubles us when the criminal justice system concludes that some of the most vulnerable in society can be executed and disposed of.”

From the Washington Post‘s lengthy reporting Friday on the case: “If executed this month, Wood will be the ‘least culpable person executed in the modern era of death penalty,’ said Scott Cobb, president of Texas Moratorium Network, a group that advocates against capital punishment.”

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