death penalty news—–TEXAS

June 29

TEXAS—-impending execution

Days from execution, inmate pins hopes on woman's story

Lester Bower, at the Polunsky Unit in East Texas, has been on death row
since 1984. He acknowledges meeting 2 of the victims on the day they died
but has denied involvement in their slayings.

Witness says condemned man isn't responsible for 1983 slayings

Since 1984, Lester Leroy Bower Jr. has sat on Texas death row, convicted
for the 1983 massacre of 4 men in a Sherman airplane hangar.

The Arlington man now faces execution on July 22, and as time runs out,
his lawyers are fighting to save his life by trying to prove he was not
the killer after all.

One key witness, a woman who came forward years ago, says it was her
then-boyfriend and 3 other drug dealers who were responsible for the

Though a prosecutor says she is certain that the right man has been
convicted, Bowers lawyers say their investigation has verified key details
of the woman's story.

But for Bower, will it be too late?


Witness says condemned man isn't responsible for 1983 slayings

Just a few paragraphs into the Star-Telegram story, the woman knew
something was terribly wrong. A man named Lester Leroy Bower Jr. was on
death row for the 1983 massacre of four men in a Sherman airplane hangar,
she read that morning in 1989. But the woman, who asked to be identified
by the pseudonym "Pearl," had reason to believe that Bower wasn't the
killer at all that it was her ex-boyfriend and three others who had
committed the crime.

The woman showed the story to her sister, the one person she had told of
her suspicions about the old boyfriend.

"Theyre going to put that guy to death for that," she remembers her sister

"Yeah, I know," Pearl replied.

"But he didn't do it?"

"No," Pearl said.

"You've got to do something," the sister said.

After a day of struggling with fears for her own life, Pearl did. The next
day, she contacted Bower's lawyers from Washington, D.C., told them her
story and signed a legal affidavit attesting to it.

Now, 19 years later, information she related is at the heart of an
increasingly urgent effort to save Bower's life. On July 22, after 24
years on Texas death row, Bower is scheduled to die by lethal injection.

Bower's lawyers say they have identified the 4 men whom Pearl alleges to
be the killers, have documented their long criminal records and have
confirmed other key parts of her story. In recent months, a defense
investigator has also located another witness, the wife of one of alleged
accomplices who said she heard the 4 men discussing the killings. The
names of the new suspects, though known to defense lawyers, have remained
sealed by court order.

"I don't want Mr. Bower to die for something that he didn't do," said
Pearl, who broke up with her boyfriend shortly after the slayings and
remains fearful of him today. Since she signed the affidavit in 1989, her
identity has been concealed by court order. "I know in my heart that he
didn't do it. I just could not in my conscience sit back and just go, 'Oh
well, sorry.'

(source for both: Fort Worth Stgar-Telegram)


Garland murders

No remorse here either

Re: "Suspects say killings netted them 'just $2' In interview, they say
they were out to rob someone, targeted music producers," Tuesday Metro.

James Broadnax claims he was in a bind and needed money. Too bad he
couldn't do what any other self-respecting and law-abiding citizen does
get a job.

And when asked if he was remorseful, he had the audacity to respond with
"Do I look like I got remorse?"

Here's hoping you and your cousin get the death penalty. I'm sure the
executioner won't have any remorse, either.

Steven Rhodes, Garland


A message to parents

After reading the commentary by the 2 individuals who are murder suspects
in the killing of two Garland men, I am truly disgusted with them.

I hope that this sends a clear message to parents in regard to
responsibility for their childrens' actions.

I would very much like to hear from the parents of these youths and see
where it went wrong for all involved.

I see this trend continuing, though, with all the freedoms that teenagers
are allowed these days. It is a sad world we live in when we allow our
children to become animals.

Oscar Galicia, Mesquite


In cold blood

Pure disgust and outrage are the emotions I felt reading the jailhouse
interviews of the 2 who admitted the Garland murders. What kind of
backgrounds produced these 2 animals?

The death penalty was designed for jerks like these. If it's administered,
society will be better off. For any who bemoan capital punishment, I say
this crime was random and in cold blood.

The victims could have been members of anyone's family.

L.W. Campbell, Red Oak


They deserve death penalty

As I sat horrified watching the heartless comments of James Broadnax, I
wondered how many will jump to their defense. These 2 deserve the death
penalty. Their total disregard for human life is appalling.

David Fox, Richardson

(source: Letters to the Editor, Dallas Morning News)