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Clemency Papers Filed in Timothy Adams Case

February 7, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas - Attorneys for Texas death-row inmate Timothy Adams are set to file clemency papers in the case today.

Adams is scheduled to be executed on Feb. 22 for the shooting death of his 19-month-old son during a domestic dispute. The case triggered strong emotions because of the young age of the victim, and it is complicated by the fact that the family of the murderer is also among the family of the victim. Adams' relatives claim their voices were not heard in the sentencing decision.

Timothy's brother, Chadrick Adams, is a teacher in Houston who says they don't want to lose another family member because of the tragedy.

"It is in our deepest hopes and prayers that the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole, and Gov. Rick Perry, will hear us now. Timothy committed a horrible act, but our grief will only be worsened if he is executed."

The family wants to see Timothy serve life in prison with no chance of parole - a sentencing option that was not available during the trial. Surviving maternal family members said during the trial that they would live in fear if Timothy were to be released.

The clemency filing details Adams' Army career and the fact that he had no previous criminal record. The filing also includes sworn statements from three jurors who say they were not provided a complete picture of Adams' character and background. They want the sentence changed to life in prison without parole.

Andrea Keilen, executive director of the nonprofit Texas Defender Service, contends that Timothy Adams should never have been sentenced to death in the first place.

"This is a case that really exemplifies why our system needs to review cases when execution dates are pending, and really have a robust and meaningful clemency system."

The board rarely grants clemency, and when it does, the governor still has the final say.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - TX