“Earlier this month, roughly fifty evangelical leaders signed a letter urging the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, to stop the Aug. 24 execution of death row inmate Jeff Wood.
“Self-described evangelicals — a large, varied group — have opposed executions before, often flocking to the side of prisoners who present themselves as having been born again. Their interest in Wood’s case is notable because he is not one of these inmates; they are focused instead on the details of his crime. Wood was in a car while his friend shot a gas station clerk during a robbery, and his attorneys claim he had no intent to murder. ‘The death penalty, we are told, is reserved for the most egregious crimes,’ the letter states. ‘Wood’s actions — which did not include directly committing a murder or intending to — simply do not fall into this category.’”