Clemency Campaign for Kenneth Mosley

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

Mitigation Points

  • 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.

11 thoughts on “Clemency Campaign for Kenneth Mosley

  1. If you are going to outline the “facts”, let’s include the part about Mosley “launching into a profanity-laced tirade against the officer’s family and other police officers from the witness stand”. And how , after his conviction, he said it would make his day to kill another cop.

    This man should not be given clemency. I am a friend of the fallen hero’s daughter and really hope that you will not write letters on the behalf of this murderer.

  2. By campaigning for this type of death sentence to be stopped, it makes genuine cases that should not be executed far harder ..this fella made a big mistake …and he needs to get the peace that the death penalty will bring him.

  3. kenneth mosley deserves no clemency or mercy. he should be shown the same mercy he showed the police officer he murdered. the officer mosley murdered had 2 daughters and a son, i think the compassion should be directed to them and not this cold blooded murderer.

  4. kenneth mosley deserves neither mercy or compassion. he should have thought of this before he murdered a police officer in cold blood who was doing his job. the compassion and mercy should be directed to the 2 daughters and a son left behind by this brave officer.

  5. The issues you raised in your comments are issues which are felt, not only by yourself, but by many on both sides of the capital punishment debate. While there are several mitigating facts, there is no excuse, no justification, no ….. for Mr. Mosley having killed Officer Michael Moore.

    I believe Officer Moore is a hero, and his family should be proud of his service, as well as devastated by his life having been cut short, thereby leaving a loving wife to raise a daughter without the caring love and support that only he could have provided.

    While I do not pretend to know how Officer Moore's family feels, I do understand loss. My daughter, Laurel, died just over ten years ago and not a day goes by that I am not reminded of the "life" she should have had, but was cut short. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of the love I have for her, but am unable to share with her by a kiss or hug. It may be off topic, but if you go to a section of my web site you will find an open letter I wrote to other parents who are going through the loss of a child. The open letter may be found at

    Now to get back to addressing your comments. I ask that you thoughtfully consider, not Mr. Mosley personally, but capital punishment in general. Try to thoughtfully ask yourself if killing him on July 16th will serve the interests of justice and society – or is there a better way?

    The question I would like for you to consider is if there is a better way to execute people like Mr. Mosley, a way that not only serves "justice," as you see it, but also serves to provide the gift of life to the thousands of terminally ill on waiting lists for life-saving organ and tissue transplants, eight of whom die each day because of the lack of available organs. I suspect Officer Moore would have wanted to serve the better interests of society, and as such supported a clemency effort, the development of a new execution protocol, and the giving of life (through an organ and tissue donation) to as many people as possible. I believe Officer Moore was that big of a hero.

    My thoughts go out to Officer Moore's widow and daughter. I am sorry for their loss. Their life will never be the same.

    In Peace and Justice,

    Lawrence Gist

  6. To: Anonymous
    Thank you for bringing out the statement, when he got back to his cell, after the verdict was handed down. Mosleys statement of "IT WOULD MAKE MY DAY TO KILL ANOTHER COP." I still remember that to this day. How can you say being shot 4 times is an accident? HE SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN CLEMENCY!!

  7. Kenneth Mosley needs to be executed immediately. He deserves no mercy for the crime (it was not an accident) that he committed. May Officer Moore rest in peace.

  8. This man deserves to be put to death, he killed a productive member of society and should be held accountable. I am tired of hearing people claim that it is not the defendants fault, that he was addicted to crack cocaine. This is BS. Everyone has a choice to say yes or no to drugs, he chose to say yes. I was angry after reading his sob story on his website and how he can't hug his children. The children of the victim never even got to say goodbye, much less hug their father.

  9. I don't see many facts here. His childhood has nothing to do with (a) carrying a gun into a store to rob it (a second time), nor does it have anything to do with struggling with a police officer. Fact: He shot a cop multiple times and killed him. Anyone who kills one charged with the protection of the community deserves this fate.

    I see that he will die this evening. Good riddance.

  10. The police officer is my cousin. I don't care what the guys life was like. Everyone has it rough. He shot my cousin and killed him. Point blank. Today is 1/8/2010. They killed Mosely yesterday and I am happy. I am gonna say that if any of this hell happened to that attorneys family,he wouldnt be trying to save that idiots sole. R.I.P- Michael David Moore..Godspeed and we finally got him.

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