From Kenneth Foster, 8/19/2007:
Greetings to you all. As the days wind down I still find myself continually inspired and able to keep a smile on my face, because I know that RIGHT is on OUR side and though they may kill my body they can’t kill what we’ve done.
All of you are amazing and I don’t have enough words right now to thank you all in the way that you need to be thanked.
In the last 4 days I have received approximately 60-70 pieces of mail. I’m laughing myself into insanity, because I can’t handle this. This doesn’t include the 50-60 messages coming over my web-site. Though my head is throbbing it’s doing so with a happiness knowing that all of this is being done.
Every week I’m doing media. Today, as some of you may know, I saw KXAN (live TV) from Austin and right on time for the 11th anniversary for this case I saw the Express News. I have media lined up for the 22nd and 29th. I take all comers (smile!). All of you have something to be proud of.
I write this email for a different reason though. Regardless of what happens to me the law of parties still exists. I need you all to realize that I am not the only man on death row sentenced like this and it would be a grand insult to me and my plight if the fight against the law of parties stops with my case. PLEASE do not do me like that. Over the years I have met men who were here by the law of parties. A couple have gotten off death row
through other means, some have been executed. Some I have not seen in years. You all must urge somebody (law students, anti-dp organizations) to reach out to men convicted under the law of parties and get some real stats on this. It has to be done and it really wouldn’t take much if they’d just take the time.
I now come to you with a case that I would like for you all to pay attention. It is the case of a man named Rudy Medrano who was convicted simply because the prosecutors say he gave some guns to friends of his who went out and committed a crime. It’s been established that he was not even at the scene of the crime, but was somewhere else with his wife. I’d like for you all to log onto: http://www.themonitor.com/ and read about his case (dates of articles: 11/22/05, 9/25/06, 1/10/07, 3/10/07.) Pay attention to the way deals are given, some were acquitted, others given lesser charges etc. The law of parties is a bowl of slop for prosecutors to use however they want. At the end of my case I would like to see Rudy Medran helped.
I’ve met Mr. Medrano and he is a serious man of God now. Many talk the talk here, but few walk the walk and he does, and I respect him for that and who he is today. That’s a lot coming from me, because you all know how I am and how serious I take being focused about our lives. He doesn’t have the kind of help from his family that he needs, and only his wife is his main support, but she takes care of their young son.
I am in my own lane of activism, but not everyone will be an activist in this fashion. It doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be supported if they have an injustice. In respect for me and all you have done out there I ask you to keep this battle going.
I’m sorry that I haven’t had the chance to write as much as I’d like, but you know that my thoughts are with you all. We have 2 weeks left to turn this tide. You all know what you have to do. I no longer have to tell you. There was an execution today. There are three more in front of me (all 3 friends of mine.) These are harsh realities. More than likely by next week I will begin protesting this execution. My set off date, as of now, seems to
be the 22nd. I have no dignity in walking around like nothing is wrong. So, when I do begin my dissent, you all must show the world. Take note that DRIVE comrades will be in solidarity with me and possibly other friends. We’ve got to be heard.
I close this message with much love in my heart, because as I’ve said once and I will say again – when there is love and struggle in the air there is no death!
We received the following message from Kenneth announcing that he and John Joe Amador will protest their executions starting tomorrow, August 22.
Like Kenneth, John is from Bexar County. He is scheduled to be executed on August 29. We have also posted a message from John, “I Will Not Participate”, that gives more details about his case.
Please spread the word that these two brave men will be nonviolently resisting!
“August 22, 2007 Directive
In the name of Human Rights; all religious doctrines of Peace, Love and Forgiveness; and in the vision of reform and atonement, on the above said date myself (Kenneth E. Foster Jr.) and John Joe Amador have committed to a protest of passive non-participation in our executions. Together we have decided to go on a spiritual missin to oppose our systematic executions in the hopes to open the eyes of people that think this horrific process is ok.
Starting on the 22nd we will engage in passive non-participation in this process in the same fashion that civil rights fighters stood down the cruel and inhumane treatments of their time. We are here to say that we do not condone violence and will not promote it. We recognize that violence will not solve our problems, just like executions do not help our society. We are committed to peace and grassroots activism. We are not doing this for ourselves, but for YOU, the people, to demonstrate to you that we do not agree with this process. We do this for YOU, the people, to show that we are new men today and that we must stand down the death penalty. We seek to harm no person and we will not. We pray to compel this society to look at the death penalty in a new light.
Starting on the 23rd we will begin refusing all food. We will not eat any more meals served to us. Our only nourishment will be liquids.
Bexar County had lined up two San Antonio executions in a row – John Amador’s for the 29th and mine for the 30th. While my case is known, Mr. Amador’s is not. I will give Mr. Amador the opportunity to write his own words regarding the injustices that he has faced at the hands of Bexar County. Since I have a visual plight I am here to say that the State is wrong in its desire to kill me. If I was as equally guilty as the 2 other men in the car, and these 2 men are not on death row, then I should not be either. This is an obvious injustice and railroad.
As we enter into being 7 days away from our execution we will be placed in cells that have video cameras where we can be observed 24-7. We cannot condone this invasion. We cannot participate in the way our humanity is being stripped. While we are NOT indifferent to the victims, we are also not indifferent to the fact that we are still human beings. But for a country that professes it wants a good society it’s hard to acknowledge that when the prison population is 2 million and rising and the conditions are left horrific. So what is really the purpose of the Penal system? We also ask you to think about this – in any other country when people are lined up and slaughtered it’s called genocide. They said Sadaam Hussein committed mass Genocide. It has happened in Darfur and Rwanda and Presidents of Cuba and North Korea have been accused of it. But when America does it it is called justice? Texas will surpass 400 murders this year. It we are to be unjustly taken then we do not want to go silently. We will not walk to our executions and we will not eat last meals. We will not give this process a humane face.
We ask all of you to stand for human rights. We are men that are dedicated to change and betterment. We are dedicated to give atonement to the system and society. Who of us will be left to guide the lost? We sacrifice this for society, not for us, because death row is a cancer in the body of this country. Our actions are antibodies to oppose this atrocious disease.
I, as a DRIVE representer, stand in the name of a better day. We will be on a DRIVE and we do it with prayers, love and understand – even for those that hate us. We don’t have them and we don’t hate the TDC officers that will usher us to our murders. Reports have said that Governor Perry is doing the will of the people. So, we come to you, the people, to relook at this process.
For those that have read about my case you now see how arbitrary capital punishment can be. AS long as it exists these things WILL continue to happen. Why? Because human beings are fallible. Many people want us to be the men we was 10 years ago. But we’re not. We could point fingers and talk about scams and corruption going on. We can talk about the ENRON’s and the Scooter Libby’s, the Guantanamo Bay’s and Abu Ghraib’s. But we won’t because we know you know that these things exist. We will only point our fingers up…..up…..and say that WE MUST GET UP. We must get up the way the CEDP has gotten up and made a movement. We must get up like these medias, politicians and even friends to the victims have gotten up. Some of us see a new way. It is possible.
And so, on August 22nd we commit ourselves to something that is beyond us. Perhaps we are just tools for a greater purpose.
We will not lift a finger to another person. We will only lift our voices and spirits. We will allow YOU, the people, to be the force that must be reckoned with.
We close this Directive in the words of Martin Luther King Jr.:
“Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness, only light can do that.”
Let’s shine to the world.
Kenneth E. Foster Jr. & John Joe Amador”
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