The daughter of a man who sits on death row shared her sheer panic at the thought that he will be executed for murder after having not killed a soul.
Paige Rowan shared her anguish with her aunt, Terry Been, in regards to her father’s situation.
“‘I had a nightmare about my dad last night,’ Paige Rowan told her aunt in the text. Rowan described a dream in which she watched helplessly as the execution needle pierced her father’s skin. She woke up screaming, panicking and feeling hopeless, she told Been. Then, she said, she dropped to her knees and prayed. ‘Please don’t allow this to happen,’ Rowan wrote. ‘Don’t take my father away.'”
Been struggled to share the exchange she had with Rowan while being interviewed by the Washington Post. The communication on the subject comes just weeks ahead of the date that both Rowan and Been dread. August 24, 2016, is the day that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice intends to inject Jeffrey Lee Wood with a lethal dose that will stop his heart.
— Rory Fleming (@RoryFleming8A) July 20, 2016
The execution is the result of Wood being convicted in the 1996 death of a man he did not kill and, from reports and claims, did not know was going to be killed. It is in the state of Texas that capital punishment is used as a sentence even for people who did not kill or even intend to kill.
The Post shares more details on the law in the state’s justice system.
“Wood was convicted and sentenced to death under what’s called the law of parties, which has been in effect in Texas since the 1970s. It states that a person who ‘solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit an offense’ is also criminally liable for that offense.”
Under this law, prosecutors are not even required to prove that a person on trial has any part in committing the actual crime or even had the intent to commit it. Jurors only have to find that there was a plan to commit a crime or knowledge of one and that the defendant should have been able to anticipate the crime would occur.
The scenario and chain of events that have landed Wood on death row involve a friendship with a drifter and being at the scene when that individual shot and killed a store clerk.
“In Wood’s case, he was sitting in a pickup outside a Texaco convenience store in Kerrville, Tex., in January 1996, when Daniel Reneau went inside and shot and killed the store clerk with a 22-caliber handgun. Wood’s supporters say he was under the impression that Reneau, a drifter he had met months earlier, was only going to buy food and drinks.”
Although Jeffrey Wood supporters share that he was not aware of the intentions of Daniel Reneau, he was not entirely innocent either. Court records indicate that Wood and Reneau, along with others who backed out, had plotted a scheme that would lead to them stealing a safe at the store, which they believed housed thousands of dollars. On the day the two headed to the store to act on the plan, Wood’s then-girlfriend testified that he told Reneau to leave his gun at home, yet Reneau brought the gun along anyway without Wood’s knowledge.
The next person to be executed in the U.S. is Jeffrey Lee Wood in 13 days, 5 hours and 56 minutes. https://t.co/TwYCvLfgGf
— The Next To Die (@thenexttodie) August 11, 2016
Jeffrey Wood’s attorney, Jared Tyler, stated that his client was not able to anticipate the death of the clerk, Kris Keeran, and has been unfairly held responsible for the actions and decisions of Daniel Reneau.
Both Reneau and Wood were convicted of capital murder. Reneau was executed in 2002. Wood has been on death row since 1998, ever since Paige Rowan was a baby.
[Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images]