Breaking News: Board of Pardons and Paroles Recommends that Governor Perry Commutes Death Sentence of Robert Thompson

Call the Governor and leave a voice message at 512 463 1782 or email him through his website at Urge him to accept the recommendation of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Robert Thompson clemency and commute his sentence to life. The execution is currently scheduled for Thursday, November 19.

From the Houston Chronicle:

The state pardons board today recommended that Houston killer Robert Thompson’s scheduled Thursday execution be commuted to life in prison after his lawyer successfully argued that he was not the triggerman in a December 1996 convenience store robbery-murder.

Gov. Rick Perry, who has only once in his tenure as chief executive voluntarily commuted a death sentence, was expected to rule on the case tonight or tomorrow.

“I’m too scared to be optimistic,” said Thompson’s attorney Pat McCann, “but Perry has been receptive to law of parties cases.”

Thompson was sentenced to death in a law of parties case stemming from the slaying of Mansoor Rahim in a Dec. 5, 1996, robbery of a Braeswood Boulevard convenience store. Thompson’s partner in the crime, Sammy Butler, fired the fatal shot, but was sentenced only to life in prison.

Under the state’s law of parties, all participants in a crime are held fully responsible and can be assessed the death penalty.

Perry’s office did not immediately respond to queries about when the governor might decide the case, but McCann said the governor’s legal counsel advised him a decision likely would come tonight or tomorrow.

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Hooman Hedayati

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