Texas governor may decide condemned killer's fate

AP News
Posted: Nov 19, 2009 7:03 AM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have to decide whether a death row inmate lives or dies.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, in a rare ruling, has recommended that Robert Lee Thompson's death sentence be commuted to life in prison.

The 34-year-old Thompson is set for lethal injection Thursday evening for his part in the fatal shooting of a Houston convenience store clerk.

He was not the triggerman when Mansoor Bhai Rahim Mohammed was gunned down 13 years ago during a robbery. But he was convicted under the Texas law of parties, which made him equally culpable for the slaying.

The shooter, Sammy Butler, received life in prison. Thompson, tried separately, got death.

Perry is not required to follow the board's recommendation.