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Bart Whitaker wanted to kill his entire family, but his surviving father wants his son home in Sugar Land Twitter/BBC World Service

Kent Whitaker says he’s all about forgiveness, and, while many Houstonians may try to live by this mantra, his ability to do so is killer:

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During a 2003 murder-for-hire-plot, his son Bart reportedly killed his wife and another son before he tried to kill the father in actions which landed him on death row, where he currently awaits execution for the Sugar Land slayings.

Despite the grisly past, Kent is now asking the judge to release his son ahead of his scheduled execution Feb. 22.

“I have seen enough death — I don’t want to see any more,” he said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. “I’m going to have the last living member of my direct family taken from me by the State of Texas in the name of justice, and I just don’t want that.”

Bart’s attorneys also wrote in the petition to the board:

“There is only one person on Earth who is intimate with the murderous attack, the lives and deaths of the other victims, and the life of Thomas Whitaker – Mr. Whitaker’s father, Kent. Kent was there. For the rest of us, the case against commutation to a life sentence seems clear. We can’t forgive; we have no sympathy. But clemency is not about something so simple as sympathy or as formidable as forgiveness.”

The clemency petition highlights Bart as a “changed man” in prison who has helped fellow inmates “to make life behind bars just a little less harsh.”

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Prosecutors, however, say they cannot forget Whitaker’s wrongdoings:

“There’s no definitive definition of a sociopath,” Marshall Slot, a former Sugar Land detective who worked the case, said. “It’s someone who uses people as pieces in a game. And that’s what Bart is.”

This is a developing story.

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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