Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sen. Kirk Watson responds

My friend Krista Cole just received this letter from her representative in the Texas Legislature. He mentions "our State's problem with the use of Capital Punishment." It seems that the criticism of Texas around the world is starting to influence the legislature.

Dear Krista,

Thank you for writing to me regarding the scheduled
execution of Kenneth Foster. I appreciate that you
have taken the time to share your views with me.

As you know, Kenneth Foster is scheduled to be
executed tomorrow. The Board of Pardons and Paroles
is set to review his case today, and Governor Perry will have the opportunity to consider taking action to save Mr. Foster's life tomorrow.

I have received many letters and phone calls requesting that I do what I can to stay the execution of Mr. Foster. As a State Senator, while I have no
direct authority over the individual decisions of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and I have expressed my opinion to the Governor. I have been in contact with
the Governor's office, and I have had the opportunity to express concern about the scheduled execution of Mr. Foster.

Our state's use of capital punishment is an issue that concerns me very much. Since my first job after law school when I worked as a clerk for a federal judge, I
have worked to ensure that our justice system produces fair and just results. I hope you will be pleased to know that I am using the time I have during the
upcoming months to carefully study how capital convictions are reached Texas. I plan to work with advocacy groups and my colleagues in the Senate on
legislation during the next session to improve our system. I know a lot of progress has been made over the years, but there is still more that needs to be
done. I look forward to the opportunity I have in the State Senate to work for improvements.

Thank you for taking the time to write. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.


Kirk Watson

1 comment:

Sal Costello said...

Sen. Kirk Watson is a double taxer.

Sen. Watson and other tollers are pushing a plan to shift Austin freeways to tollways!

Smarter options do exist.

In the short term, the $700 million tax dollars shouldn’t be spent on toll roads as Sen. Watson plans, but instead, our tax dollars intended for freeways should be spent on cost efficient non-toll solutions such as: Variable speed limits, ramp metering, HOV lanes without tolls, reversible/barriered lanes for peak periods, parkways (like, pass through financing, more arterial lane miles, better incident management and advance computerized control of traffic signals.

In the long term we must index the gas tax. The Texas Transportation Institute report states that more tolls are simply NOT needed - that indexing the gas tax and using the revenue to pay off bonds allows freeways to be built right now.

Once placed, the tolls will NEVER be removed from our public highways. In contrast, the Ledge has the opportunity to index the gas tax every two years.

Sal Costello
Founder of People for Efficient Transportation