Proclamation Commuting Death Sentence Of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
whereas, the Board of Pardons and Paroles has unanimously recommended a commutation to a sentence less than death for Thomas Bartlett Whitaker, TDCJ #999522; and
Whereas, the Board’s decision is supported by the totality of circumstances in this case so long as Thomas Bartlett Whitaker is never released from prison; and
whereas, Thomas Bartlett Whitaker has, through counsel, forever waived any and all claims to parole in exchange for a commutation of his sentence from death to life without the possibility of parole; and
WHEREAS, THOMAS BARTLETT WHITAKER’s agreement to forever waive any and all claims to parole constitutes an essential and indispensable element of my decision; and
whereas, the Governor has authority to commute Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s death sentence to life without the possibility of parole even without the waiver submitted in this case; and
Whereas, Thomas Bartlett Whitaker recruited others, including Chris Brashear, to kill Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s mother, father, and brother; and
whereas, Brashear killed Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s mother and brother, and attempted but failed to kill Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s father; and
whereas, Brashear, who shot and killed the deceased, was sentenced to life, but Thomas Bartlett Whitaker, who conspired to kill his parents and brother, but did not actually shoot the gun that caused the murders, was sentenced to death in Cause No. 42969 in the 400th Judicial District Court, Fort Bend County, Texas, on March 8, 2007; and
Whereas, Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s father, whom Brashear and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker attempted but failed to kill, passionately opposes the execution of his son;
Now therefore, I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of the State of Texas, by virtue of the authority vested in me under the Constitution and laws of this State, and as a consequence of the circumstances stated above, and acting upon the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, do hereby grant unto the said:
Thomas Bartlett Whitaker
A commutation of sentence to imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole for the offense above set out in cause no. 42969, 400th Judicial District Court, Fort Bend County, Texas.
This commutation shall have no legal force or effect, and shall be void ab initio, if Thomas Bartlett Whitaker ever withdraws his waiver of parole or if his sentence as commuted is ever challenged.
I hereby direct that a copy of this proclamation be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.