After the board or paroles and pardons voted 6-1 in Kenneth’s favour, Texas governor Rick Perry granted Kenneth a commutation of sentance to life without parole. The descision came Thursday, around 6 hours before the sheduled execution.

“After carefully considering the facts of this case, along with the recommendations from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, I believe the right and just decision is to commute Foster’s sentence from the death penalty to life imprisonment,” Perry said in a statement. The Republican governor added, “I am concerned about Texas law that allows capital murder defendants to be tried simultaneously, and it is an issue I think the Legislature should examine.”

“It makes me feel wonderful,” said Mr. Foster’s father, Kenneth Foster Sr., who had been visiting his son with other family members just before word of the governor’s action came and held a raucous celebration with supporters outside the walls of the death house in Huntsville.

Norma LaHood, the murder victim’s mother, said she took the news of the commutation as divine will. “I’m filled with peace,” Mrs. LaHood said by telephone from San Antonio. “I will mourn my son till I die, but I’m not forced any more to relive his death.”

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