Death Watch: Life in Prison for Thomas Whitaker?

Death row inmate becomes first to receive commutation recommendation from Board of Pardons and Paroles in 2007

Death Watch: Life in Prison for Thomas Whitaker?

The state's Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unnamiously on Tuesday to recommend a commutation of sentence from death to life in prison for Thomas Whitaker, who was scheduled for execution this evening, Feb. 22, for conspiring to kill his brother and parents in December of 2003. (His brother and mother were killed by a hired gunman. His father survived a gunshot wound to the chest.) It was the first time since 2007 that the board recommended clemency for a death row inmate.

The recommendation comes on the heels of a Request for Commutation filed by Austin attorney Keith Hampton last month on behalf of Kent Whitaker, Thomas' father, who since the murders has urged the state to spare his son from execution, and pleaded that ending his life would bring no form of closure, healing, or justice (see "Quote of the Week," Feb. 23).

The board's recommendation now sits on the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, who has until tonight to either accept the board's recommendation or reject it outright.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Thomas Whitaker
Death Watch: Justice for Whom?
Death Watch: Justice for Whom?
Kent Whitaker never wanted execution for his son

Chase Hoffberger, Feb. 16, 2018

More by Chase Hoffberger
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Local journo Alex Hannaford’s Dead Man Talking podcast investigates the case against a man on death row

Nov. 16, 2018

EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
Association to cast ballot between incumbent Tony Marquardt or challenger Selena Xie

Nov. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Thomas Whitaker, Kent Whitaker

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle