source: Texas Tribune
published: 7 December 2017
The Texas prosecutor who sought the death penalty almost 20 years ago against a man who never killed anyone has now asked that his sentence be reduced to life in prison.
Lucy Wilke, now the Kerr County district attorney, was the prosecutor in the 1998 murder trial of Jeff Wood — a man whose scheduled execution last year prompted lawmakers to question when the state should put accomplices to death.
Although she originally decided to seek the death penalty for Wood, she later said in a letter to the prison parole board that “the penalty now appears to be excessive.”
Wilke asked the board to recommend Gov. Greg Abbott grant clemency and change Wood’s sentence to life in prison. The letter was sent in August, but The Texas Tribune received a copy from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Thursday after a Wednesday court order referred to it.
“While I am aware that requests for clemency in Death Penalty Capital Murder cases are normally considered when there is an execution date pending, I respectfully ask that you consider this request for commutation of sentence and act on it now, in the absence of such an execution date, in the interest of justice and judicial economy,” she wrote.