Court rejects appeal from Texas inmate in high-profile ‘law of parties’ case

Jeff Wood
Jeff Wood

source: Houston Chronicle
published: 22 November 2018

Overruling a Kerr County judge in a decision issued on Wednesday, the state’s highest criminal court rejected an appeal from a death row inmate who was the getaway driver in a botched robbery.

Jeff Wood never fired a shot during the 1996 Texaco heist, but he was still sentenced to die under the controversial law of parties, which holds non-shooter accomplices just as criminally liable as the triggerman.

In recent years, both prosecutors and a trial court said that he at least deserved a chance at a lesser punishment.

While Kerr County District Attorney Lucy Wilke wanted to spare him by getting the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant him clemency, the county court thought he deserved a new trial.

But the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals this week said even if the false testimony claims in his appeal were valid concerns, they weren’t enough to make a difference in the outcome of the case.

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