Letters: Baylor regents’ transparency and death penalty commutation

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Baylor’s lack of transparency damages credibility

I totally agree with “Regents must open up for Baylor to thrive once again.” They must realize that the rumors and theories probably—and hopefully—are worse than reality.

The secular world thinks Christians, and especially Baptists, are hypocrites. The regents’ secrecy gives validity to that image of Christians.

We take the high road when talking about being Christian and having higher standards than those of the world. Actions speak louder than words.

Rumors abound regarding why the regents are so secretive. Some regents are hands-on involved with decisions at Baylor—sometimes too much. Why don’t they assume some responsibility for not providing an adequate Title IX office?

The continuous lack of transparency is damaging the credibility of our Baylor University and, in the larger sense, Christianity.

I am a Baylor Business School graduate, retired Baylor University development officer, and retiring this month with the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Our three adult children all are Baylor graduates and strong Christians.

Larry Thomas


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Wood deserves death sentence

Regarding “Baptist ministers join call to halt execution”: In 2008, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 7-0 against commutation of Jeff Wood’s death sentence. That denial is supported by the facts, now, as always. 

The Baptist ministers seeking Wood’s commutation should have a better handle on the facts. “… Wood admitted in a statement to police that he knew Reneau was going to rob the gas station, that Reneau planned to bring a gun and might use it if (Kriss) Keeran didn’t cooperate, according to court opinions.”

Might? “Evidence showed (Wood and Reneau) had planned the robbery for a couple of weeks and unsuccessfully tried recruiting Keeran (a “friend” of Wood and Reneau) and another employee to stage a phony robbery.”

The criminals failure to recruit Keeran into the robbery, meaning they would have to murder Keeran if they decided to go through with the robbery.

They did.

“Wood told his brother, who was not implicated, to destroy the surveillance tape after watching it together, according to the San Antonio Express.”

They watched the tape of the robbery/murder, for entertainment.

Evidence showed Reneau entered the store before dawn Jan. 2, 1996, and fatally shot Keeran once in the face with a .22-caliber pistol. Then joined by Wood, they robbed the store of more than $11,000 in cash and checks. “… both fled with the store safe, a cash box and a video recorder containing a security tape showing the robbery and slaying. “

“Lucy Wilke, the Kerr County assistant district attorney, who prosecuted Wood, described Wood after his 1998 trial as “not a dummy” and called the slaying “cold-blooded, premeditated.” She called Wood “the mastermind of this senseless murder.”

For those that wrongly complain about the law of parties: “What do you think is going to happen when a guy goes into a convenience store to rob it and he’s armed with a gun, and your job is to help him commit that crime?” said Mary Lou Leary, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. “It’s a very high-risk activity.”

Here’s the section of the law of parties which, properly, applies to Wood: “A person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense….”

Dudley Sharp



Stop miscarriage of justice

Please do whatever you possibly can to stop this miscarriage scheduled on 24 Aug.

And continue the fight to repeal the capital punishment totally.

Graham Thurston

Haywards Heath, United Kingdom

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