Interview with Lee Greenwood

Description: 

Lee Greenwood is the mother of Joseph Nichols, who was executed on March 7th, 2007, for the murder of a store employee, Claude Shaffer on October 13th, 1980. She begins with their life together and his activities when he was growing up, and her surprise upon hearing of his conviction. She then reflects on how she feels his trial was “grossly mishandled” and how he was found guilty under the “law of parties,” although the punishment phase ended as a mistrial. She speaks about her regrets, what she would have done had she known certain laws, and then goes on to describe what she witnessed throughout his trials, and how she felt they were unfair. She then talks about Joseph’s attitudes in jail, how he continued to be kind and giving while on Death Row, and what she learned from the letters he sent, including Joseph’s relationship with Kenneth Foster and pen pals in Europe. Greenwood shifts to the night of the incident and describes her interaction with her son that night. Continuing with the trial, we hear about Nichols’ family’s reactions to the court proceedings, a detailed account of those proceedings, and the mistakes she felt were made. She concludes with a description of his execution day. This interview took place on August 27, 2009 at the Walter Branch neighborhood library in Houston, Harris County, Texas.