Free Jose Zavala, Convicted in 1998 under Law of Parties in Texas

Free Jose Zavala, Convicted in 1998 under Law of Parties in Texas

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A​.​R. Zavala started this petition to Greg Abbott

Obtaining the American Dream is different for us all. Some of us are fortunate enough to be born into it, others are resourceful enough to make opportunities that afford them that luxury, and others of us start from the bottom and sadly, make costly mistakes along the way.

Jose Zavala, 39, was convicted of Capital Murder in the shooting death of Christopher Chavez in San Antonio in 1998. At the time of the murder – Jose was 17 years old.

In the late nineties, Jose was a troubled teen who had experienced minor run ins with the law for being a mischievous adolescent. Growing up in an underserved community of poverty, failing school districts, and a lack of resources, guidance, and opportunities, Jose grew to be a product of his environment, a fact no one is denying.

On the night of Christopher Chavez death, Jose’s intent was not murder but money. Jose was under the impression that he and Leo Little, his co-defendant, were only robbing people for money, as they had previously done with no violence. But Jose’s co defendant had a plan of his own.

As shown in Netflix’s “I am a Killer” (Season 2, Episode 3 ‘An Ordinary Boy’) Jose co-defendant was the sole person responsible for the murder of Christopher Chavez death. Not only did Jose not know someone would die that night, he had no weapon, and was not aware Leo Little was conjuring a plan of his own in a separate vehicle. Though Jose is not the hand that took this innocent life he has not denied his role in the actions that led up to the murder, and his co-defendant’s interviews have supported this statement.

At the time of his sentencing, Jose was charged with Capital Murder under the Texas Law of Parties, because he participated in the robbery before the murder. This law means that even if you didn’t intend to murder or have knowledge that a murder would take place, if someone participated in a felonious crime prior to or leading up to a murder, you are just a responsible for the crime.

Our goal with this petition is to bring light and reform to the circumstances of The Texas Law of Parties and to give Jose an opportunity to see the Texas Parole Board of Pardons before 2038, on his current life sentence.

Thank you for taking the time to read this petition on behalf of Jose, we hope to work together to stop Texas from using this law to execute people who made troubling decisions that were terrible mistakes. The facts are YES, Jose made a poor decisions, but, NO – he did NOT commit murder. And the person responsible for the murder is currently serving his time for that crime. Should Jose have to serve it as well?

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At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!