Father asks for son's death penalty to be dropped, despite murdering his family

Father asks for son's death penalty to be dropped, despite murdering his family

Thomas Whitaker has been sentenced to death (Credit: Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Monday, February 19, 2018

A father who survived an attack by his son is calling on the state of Texas to spare him the death penalty - despite two of his family members being killed in the assault.

Thomas 'Bart' Whitaker killed his mother and brother in 2003, in an attack which left his father Kent Whitaker with a bullet wound close to his heart.

He is due to be executed by lethal injection on Thursday (February 22), according to Reuters.

However his 69-year-old father has publicly opposed the execution, claiming he'll be "thrown into a deeper grief at the hands of the state of Texas, in the name of justice."

He made the comment during a discussion with the chairman of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles in Austin.

The man has also claimed letters from prison guards on death row show his 38-year-old son has been a well-behaved prisoner.

The clemency petition says both the family of Kent Whitaker and his wife's relatives are against the killing of Bart.

The state has never lifted a death sentence on a victim's request.

A decision on whether to remove the death penalty in this case is due to be given tomorrow (February 20) by officials. If it is agreed that it should be dropped, the final decision will be handed to Governor Greg Abbott.

The father has said it was his Christian faith which led him to forgive his son, but added that he's not asking officials to forgive his son, just to "let him live.”

It is claimed the motivation for the killings was likely to be money and two others helped him with the plot, with one man making it appear as if Bart had been attacked too.