"deathrow saved my life otherwise I would be dead from gang violence"-texas man set for execution ask for clemency

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Quiet-Q
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"deathrow saved my life otherwise I would be dead from gang violence"-texas man set for execution ask for clemency

Unread post by Quiet-Q » July 10th, 2018, 8:49 pm

The Texas Tribune
Families of Chris Young and the man he killed call for a halt to his execution

At a small rally in San Antonio's main plaza, faith leaders joined Chris Young's aunt and the son of the man he killed to call for a stop to Young's execution next week.

BY JOLIE MCCULLOUGH JULY 10, 2018 5 HOURS AGO


SAN ANTONIO — Standing in front of the grandiose facade of the cathedral in the city’s main plaza, Valerie Harris begged Gov. Greg Abbott to spare her nephew’s life.

“The man who went into the prison years ago is the not the same man,” she said through the sweat and tears that streamed down her face. “If you need a body, if you need a sacrifice, I would trade my life any day of the week for what’s inside Christopher Young.”

Harris, a pastor and spiritual adviser to her nephew on death row, was one of several faith leaders who came out in the hot July sun Tuesday to call for a stop of Young’s execution — set exactly one week later. Young, 34, is set to be executed next Tuesday evening in the 2004 murder of store owner Hasmukh Patel. Patel's son also joined the group, calling for mercy for the man who killed his father.

Young's advocates have placed their hope in a long-shot attempt to halt the execution based on his life on death row and a new appeal that claims his trial was tainted by religious discrimination — a potential juror was struck from the pool because her church group was associated with a prison ministry program, according to the court brief.

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Young was 21 when he shot Patel in the chest while robbing Patel's San Antonio mini-mart and dry cleaner store, according to court records. A Bexar County jury convicted him, and he was sentenced to death in February 2006. After his more than 12 years on death row, however, his aunt and his lawyers say he is a changed man.

“He has educated himself, become grounded in his religion, actively parents his daughters, and mentors troubled young people beyond the prison walls,” said his lawyers, Jeff Newberry and David Dow, in a joint statement last month upon filing his clemency petition to the parole board. “He is deeply remorseful for killing Mr. Patel.”

The Bexar County District’s Attorney Office, which prosecuted Young, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Patel’s son, 36-year-old Mitesh, also joined the clemency petition, which asks the parole board to recommend that the governor change Young's death sentence to one of life in prison, or temporarily halt the execution. Mitesh Patel attended the small rally Tuesday and said Young’s execution wouldn’t “take us toward any positive outcome.”

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Under the shade of a tree in the plaza, Patel said that over time, he was able to forgive Young for killing his father, and that Young’s compassion for his daughters was a main reason he spoke out against the execution. Patel lost his father in his early 20s, and Young was only 8 when his father was murdered as well, according to the clemency petition. Patel has said he doesn’t want Young’s daughters to grow up without a father, too.

The son also mentioned Young’s work on death row trying to help other people.

“He actually has a desire to break the chain of other people possibly in his shoes from continuing down that path,” Mitesh Patel said. “My family and I would rather see that come to fruition because that speaks better to what my dad stood for.”

Young’s case has garnered widespread attention, in part due to a social media campaign and video interviews of Young on death row. An online petition started by the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty supporting Young’s clemency petition had garnered more than 23,000 signatures as of early Tuesday afternoon.

“I think that if I would have never came to death row, I wouldn’t be the individual that I am today,” Young said in one of the videos. “I wouldn’t be mature, I wouldn’t be able to explain to my daughters life, the appreciation of life.”

He said he was running with gangs as a young adult and that, ironically, death row saved his life. Otherwise, he would likely already be dead from gang violence.

“I’m actually happy I came here first, because the person I am today, I’m really, really satisfied with,” he said.

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The parole board is set to vote on Young’s clemency petition Friday, Newberry said, but the board hardly ever recommends relief. Young’s lawyers also filed a new appeal this month in the Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing that a potential juror was removed by the prosecution because of her ties to a church that had some members who worked as prison ministers.

The filing said court precedent allows for potential jurors to be struck for personal religious beliefs, but not that of a religious group.

“The basis for the State’s challenge removing [the potential juror] was neither her personal religious belief nor her personal religious activity but solely her mere affiliation with a church, some of whose members ministered to prisoners,” Newberry wrote in the filing.

The Rev. Paul Ziese, from a local Lutheran church, spoke outside the church Tuesday on behalf of more than 15 other faith leaders. He mentioned that the group members don’t all agree on the death penalty, but that they are joined by their belief against religious discrimination.

The state has yet to file a brief in response to Young’s latest appeal, but the court has only halted one execution so far this year. There are no other appeals pending. If the attempts to stop his execution fail, Young will be executed next Tuesday, becoming the eighth person put to death in Texas this year. Six other executions are scheduled through October.
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Unread post by Quiet-Q » July 10th, 2018, 8:50 pm

Like I always felt =Jail/prison saved (or prolonged) alotta niggahs from getting killed had they been on streets

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Unread post by 40 OZ » July 10th, 2018, 10:04 pm

Crazy how son is tryna spare his life. If that was my father I'd want that nigga to rot in hell ASAP. I cant understand how people can be willing to forgive over a major loss like that. Maybe the loss made son delusional or some shit.

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Unread post by Quiet-Q » July 13th, 2018, 9:54 pm

Mitesh Patel Works to Save Texas Death Row Inmate Chris Young from Execution

MITESH PATEL CHRIS YOUNG DEATH ROW
JULY 13, 2018 10:00 AM EDT

In 2006, Chris Young was convicted of murdering store owner Hasmukh Patel. The 21-year-old was sentenced to death. Now 34 years old, Young is scheduled to be executed in San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday, July 17th.
Mitesh Patel, the son of Hasmukh, is now fighting for Chris Young’s life to be spared. For the last few months, he’s been preparing to ask the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and ultimately Texas Governor Greg Abbott, to grant Young clemency. But why is Patel trying to save the life of the man who killed his father?


Patel says two wrongs don’t make a right. He believes executing Young wouldn’t solve anything or take away his family’s pain. Patel knows what it feels like to lose a father, and he doesn’t want Young’s daughter Crishelle to have to experience what he did. Patel truly believes that Young has changed and wants to be a force for good.
If The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles sides with Patel, it will recommend that Governor Abbott grant Young clemency, and the decision is placed in Abbott’s hands. The board will make its decision by Friday.
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Unread post by Quiet-Q » July 13th, 2018, 9:58 pm


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Unread post by Quiet-Q » July 13th, 2018, 10:13 pm

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Unread post by Quiet-Q » July 14th, 2018, 12:45 am

San Antonio killer claiming racism sues parole board after denied clemency
Keri Blakinger | on July 13, 2018




Minutes after he was denied clemency, condemned death row inmate Christopher Young sued the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Friday afternoon, lobbing accusations of racism.

The 34 year-old former gang member is scheduled for execution Tuesday after the board ignored pleas from the victim's son and unanimously rejected his bid for commutation in a 6-to-0 vote.


The legal claim, filed in federal court, hinges on comparisons to another death row case, one that ended in a rare clemency grant earlier this year. In that case, both the victims and the condemned killer - Thomas "Bart" Whitaker - were white.

"The Board unanimously recommended clemency for Whitaker, but not for Young," his attorneys wrote, "and this vote is most likely explained by a single variable – a variable the Constitution precludes decisions-makers from taking into account: race."

Young was condemned to die for impulsively gunning down a store owner during a 2004 robbery, though in recent weeks the slain man's son came out as a vigorous voice of support in the condemned killer's clemency campaign, even meeting with the parole board to make the case.

Whitaker was sentenced to death for masterminding the slaying of his family in hopes of getting a piece of a hefty inheritance. His mother and brother died, but his father survived and advocated for clemency - which the board unanimously recommended in February.

In both cases, supporters touted the death row prisoners' rehabilitation and family ties. And in both cases, the victims' families pushed for a commutation to life.

"All Young is asking for is that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles review his petition for clemency with the same eyes it did Thomas Whitaker's clemency petition, with no regard for his race," wrote Young's Houston-based attorneys, David Dow and Jeff Newberry.



Texas inmates who were on death row and were later freed talk about their struggles regaining a normal life. Media: Jason Witmer, Houston Chronicle
To make sure that happens, the legal team argued for a stay that would give them the chance to question individual board members under oath to learn more about what motivated their votes.

"The members of the Board do not announce reasons for their decisions, but the facts here speak for themselves," the lawyers wrote. A parole board spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This isn't the first time clemency has sparked questions of racial bias. In the days after Whitaker's surprise commutation - announced less than an hour before he was scheduled to die - some local attorneys raised the issue.


"What I'm really looking forward to finding out is whether the same consideration that is given to a white person raised in privilege and college educated who has killed or tried to kill his entire family is given to persons of color who have killed people under much less heinous circumstances," Randy Schaffer, a Houston-based attorney handling capital cases, said earlier this year. "Is this going to be a policy that only applies to the white and privileged who make a religious plea or will this apply to everybody?"

Attorney Pat McCann echoed the concerns.

"Because the governor has granted it this one time, he now gets a pass on every mentally infirm black or poor Hispanic to kill them because he did this one magnanimous act," he said at the time. "That's the lie of clemency in Texas."

Young was sent to death row after he carjacked a woman at gunpoint in San Antonio, then headed to a mini-mart and dry cleaners. He walked in, and reached over the counter as he demanded money at gunpoint, court records show.

Store owner Hasmukh "Hash" Patel pushed the panic button and ran, but Young followed and shot him to death before fleeing. One of the store's regular customers tried chasing him, but Young got away.

Police caught him later that morning, holed up in a nearby house with a prostitute and some drugs, according to court records.

The former gang member was tried and sentenced to death in 2006. When a Bexar County judge pronounced his sentence, Young heard a gasp from the crowd. His mother had fainted.

Whatever the toll on his family — and his victim's family — Young came to death row angry and bitter. For almost a decade, he stayed mad at the world. Then, five years ago, something changed. The anger dissipated, replaced with remorse, he told the Houston Chronicle in a death row interview.

He doesn't know what clicked or why he moved on. But today, he says, he's a different person.

"I stopped blaming others for my situation and realized that I put myself here," he said. "And that's a hard realization."

It was learning of that remorse - and of Young's role in his daughters' lives - that prompted Mitesh Patel to approach the board in support of clemency for his father's killer.

RARE COMMUTATION: 'Will this apply to everybody?' Legal community reacts

"I assumed he was a typical death row inmate with no remorse," Patel told the Chronicle. "But learning that he's been a positive force in his daughter's life, that struck a chord with me."

Aside from his Friday afternoon lawsuit, Young still has a slim chance at a 30-day reprieve from the governor's office, which could allow time for more appeals and legal maneuvering. In a statement Friday afternoon, renowned death penalty abolitionist Sister Helen Prejean - author of "Dead Man Walking" - weighed in on the case, which has attracted celebrity attention from Alyssa Milano to Common.

"Mitesh Patel would like to meet with Chris Young, but this will not be possible if Chris is executed next Tuesday. Only Governor Abbott has the power to make this meeting happen now," Prejean wrote in a statement. "Governor, please demonstrate your support for the families of murder
victims by granting a reprieve to Chris Young and asking the Pardon Board to reconsider his case."

The state of Texas has already executed seven men this year, including Houston serial killers Danny Bible and Anthony Shore. Including Young, seven more men have scheduled death dates.

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