Kenneth Mosley has an execution date of July 16, 2009. His attorney is filing a clemency application and has requested that we solicit clemency support letters on Kenneth’s behalf. He has sent us the following information about Kenneth and about the facts of the case.
Draw from the information about Kenneth provided by his attorney in making your best argument for why the BPP should be merciful and recommend to the governor that he grant clemency and why the governor should grant clemency.
Here are the addresses to send the letters:
Rissie L. Owens, Chair,
And other Members
Board of Pardons and Paroles
Executive Clemency Section
General Counsel’s Office
8610 Shoal Creek Blvd
Austin, TX 78757
Fax: 512 – 467-0945
Governor Rick Perry
Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Fax: (512) 463-1849
- Kenneth’s life was a life broken by an abusive childhood, racial trauma in school, untreated mental illness brought on by exposure to chemical pesticides; by a church that abandoned him because of his drug use, and by his inability to beat drug addiction. He was failed by his trial attorneys who failed to tell his story.
- Mitigating evidence was everything in this case, and much was available, but none was presented at his trial. The prosecutor portrayed Kenneth as a one-dimensional criminal. His trial attorneys did nothing to dispel this illusion; or convey to the jury the complex circumstances that had led to the case; or to show that there was indeed reasonable doubt of intent to cause the death of Officer Michael Moore.
- Kenneth suffers from frontal lobe impairment and diffuse brain injury as a result of extensive childhood exposure to neuro-toxic pesticides. Expert testimony confirms this frontal lobe impairment could have easily resulted in his erratic and aggressive behavior. This medical testimony was never presented to the jury nor was the fact that Kenneth suffered major depression and that his resort to cocaine often followed the expiration of his antidepressant medication. His trial lawyers did not even examine his medical records! They never informed the jury of the true root of his drug abuse allowing it to be attributed erroneously to moral failure. The failure of his lawyers allowed the jury to view Kenneth only as morally blameworthy rather than medically impaired.
- As a child Kenneth was afforded none of the protection due a child. He was brought up in a violent and chaotic household as evidenced in medical records at the time. He was his mother’s seventh son. His father, who was not the father of his older brothers, was strict, aggressive, and abusive. The family was poor and lived in farm hand quarters adjacent to soybean and cotton fields in Arkansas. Kenneth was working in the fields at age five. Crop dusters routinely dusted and sprayed the fields along with the living quarters with chemicals, pesticides, weed killers, and defoliants. On occasion, Kenneth and his brothers were intentionally chased and sprayed by the crop dusters. As a result, all of the brothers experienced headaches and other ailments and as experts have testified Ken was left brain damaged. When the family moved to a different part of the state, one of Kenneth’s brothers refused to move because of the violence and abuse in the home. Kenneth later regretted that he had remained. It was as a young boy that Kenneth had first been introduced to drugs by an older brother.
- Kenneth attended a segregated grade school, but just before he began high school, schools were integrated, and he suffered directly during the civil rights era. However, he graduated from high school and attended one year of college at the University of Arkansas. Then he quit school and went to work as earning became an imperative.
Despite his deprived background Kenneth held down a good job for nearly 16 years with Coca-Cola Bottling Company. He advanced within the company and was regarded as a diligent and hard worker. During that time he met and married Carol to whom he is still married, and they have a daughter, Amber to whom Kenneth remains devoted. Kenneth lost his job because of his addiction and with his job went his medical insurance. Kenneth and his wife sought long and hard to get treatment for him but without insurance or money this was fruitless. Poverty, addiction and illness combined led Kenneth to a desperate situation, and despair led to crime.
Facts of the case:
1. On February 15, 1997, Kenneth Mosley went into Bank One in Garland, Texas to commit a robbery. He drew attention to himself by wearing clothes that witnesses testified were inappropriate for the weather. Additionally, because he had robbed this same bank previously, one of the tellers recognized him.
2. Bank employees notified the police, and Officer David Moore arrived on the scene. Officer Moore touched Mr. Mosley’s arm, words were exchanged, and a struggle ensued. Officer Moore and Mr. Mosley crashed through a plate glass window. Shots were fired during this struggle. When the turmoil subsided, witnesses saw that Officer Moore had been shot several times. Mr. Mosley attempted to leave but was apprehended and shot by another Garland Police Officer, Officer Murfee. Mr. Mosley testified in his own defense and denied that he intended to kill Officer Moore.
3. Intent, obviously, played a crucial role in the trial. Were all shots fired inadvertently during the struggle or did Mr. Mosley deliberately stand up and fire a final shot? Numerous witnesses presented varying testimony about the events that occurred – including whether Mr. Mosley appeared to intentionally shoot the officer, or not. The witnesses were in different places – some inside the bank, some outside the bank – and they varied both in what they saw and how many gunshots they heard.
4. The trace evidence analysts were unable to conclusively determine the distance of all the shots. In fact, many witnesses testified to seeing quite a struggle between Mr. Mosley and Officer Moore.
5. Kenneth Mosley continues to deny that he intended to cause the death of Officer Moore.