Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Clarence Ray Allen

38 minutes after his birthday ended, he was pronounced dead.

(LATimes) Just after midnight today, the oldest inmate on California's death row was brought to San Quentin's octagonal, green death chamber.

[...]Allen was sentenced to death in 1982, after his conviction for arranging a triple murder. He orchestrated the 1980 murders from Folsom State Prison, where he was serving a life sentence for the 1974 slaying of his son's girlfriend, Mary Sue Kitts. He murdered Kitts to prevent her from testifying in a burglary case against him.

While serving time for that crime, he offered another inmate, Billy Ray Hamilton, $25,000 to kill eight people who had testified against him in the Kitts case. After getting out of prison, Hamilton killed one of the witnesses, Bryon Schletewitz, 27, whose father owned a store Allen had burglarized, and two market employees, Josephine Rocha, 17, and 18-year-old Douglas White. Hamilton shot Rocha as she begged him not to.

Oh and you know why Hollywood couldn't be bothered to make speak out for the old white guy? Scheduling conflict. They had to make their appearance at the Golden Globes. That's dedictation.

Allen's case is also a interesting justification for the death penalty to be more widely used, because as he was serving a life sentence he ordered 3 other murders from jail. Had he been sentenced to death, he wouldn't have necessarily had the contact with other criminals who would eventually be "rehabilitated" and released on the world to do his mruders for him. One could argue three people could be alive today, had we been more vigorous in the dispensation of the death penalty in Allen's original case.

On second thought, maybe Hollywood was playing it smart with Allen. Perhaps they actually recognized too many good arguments in favor of his death.