In an exceedingly rare move, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted Tuesday to recommend a lesser sentence for a death row inmate facing execution. The board voted unanimously in favor of clemency for Thomas Bartlett Whitaker, a man who is set to die on Thursday evening. The decision now falls on Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who can approve or deny the recommendation to change Whitaker’s death sentence to life in prison. The last time the board recommended clemency for a death row inmate was 2009. A Texas governor hasn't approved clemency since 2007. In rare move, Texas parole board recommends clemency for death row inmate Thomas Whitaker That is insane. All over the board.