Governor to decide if death row inmate lives or dies

- “As the greatest victim in this case, you don’t have to convince me of how awful the crime was,” said Kent Whitaker. “I’ve lived it for fourteen years now.”

Kent was also a target of his eldest son Bart's plot to kill his immediate family in hopes of inheriting one million dollars.

Bart succeeded in having his mother and younger brother killed, but Kent Whitaker miraculously survived.

Kent made it very clear to Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey back in 2005 that he did not want his son to be sentenced to death.

“Every victim, all of my family, my wife’s family, pleaded with the district attorney for eighteen months not to pursue the death penalty,” said Kent.

“Something that horrible still can produce good in the lives of the people Bart will encounter behind the walls," said Keith, Bart’s uncle.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kent, his wife Tanya, and other family members waited in Austin with the odds stacked against them while parole board members all over the state faxed in their votes.

“The statistics are daunting very much against us,” said attorney Keith Hampton. “Only one clemency in 20 years.”

After around 30 minutes of waiting, Kent Whitaker heard what he’s been waiting to hear for years.

“Unanimous recommendation for clemency,” said Hampton.

It won’t become official without Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s signature. He has until Thursday to make a decision as that is when Bart Whitaker is scheduled for execution.

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