Robert Lee Thompson, who was sentenced to death under Texas' controversial "law of parties" for the fatal 1996 shooting of a convenience store clerk, will be executed tonight as planned, after Gov. Rick Perry rejected the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole's clemency recommendation.
In a statement he released tonight, Perry said:
“After reviewing all of the facts in the case of Robert Lee Thompson, who had a murderous history and participated in the killing of Mansoor Bhai Rahim Mohammed, I have decided to uphold the jury’s capital murder conviction and capital punishment for this heinous crime. There is no reason to set aside the capital murder conviction handed down by a Texas jury and upheld by numerous state and federal courts.”
Under the law of parties, defendents can be given the death penalty if they played a role in a capital crime, even if they didn't pull the trigger. In this case, Thompson repeatedly shot Mohammed's cousin, another convenience store clerk, but did not kill him. Thompson's partner in crime shot and killed Mohammed.