Portrait of death row inmate as Texas board recommends clemency after father’s plea

File footage shows death row inmate Thomas "Bart" Whitaker talking on the phone while in prison.

Whitaker, convicted of hatching a plot that left his mother and brother dead and his father with a gun wound to the chest, received a unanimous clemency recommendation on Tuesday after his father pleaded for his life.

Whitaker’s father Kent Whitaker broke down in tears when he heard that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles gave what amounted to its first clemency recommendation to come primarily at the request of a victim’s forgiving family.

Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, will make the final decision on whether to dispense a life sentence and halt the scheduled execution by lethal injection planned for Thursday.

Whitaker was put on death row after being convicted of masterminding the deadly 2003 plot near Houston that left his mother Tricia, 51, and brother Kevin, 19, dead.

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