Sugar Land man scheduled for execution Thursday awaits Abbott’s decision

From the Houston Chronicle:

A Sugar Land man slated for execution Thursday night is still awaiting a last-minute decision as Gov. Greg Abbott weighs his options: grant clemency or let him die by lethal injection.

Thomas “Bart” Whitaker was sent to death row for targeting his own family in a 2003 murder-for-hire plot aimed at landing a hefty $1 million inheritance. But following years of desperate pleas from the condemned man’s father – the only other survivor of the attack – the seven-member Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday made a rare unanimous push for clemency, sending the final decision to the governor’s desk.

“We’re very anxious,” Whitaker’s Houston-based defense attorney, James Rytting said Thursday afternoon.

“Clemency and mercy is for the strong to bestow upon the weak and we believe that this is a case in which the governor will and should summon the strength to grant clemency.”