Death Row’s oldest executed

Posted in uwvmwtei on December 29th, 2019

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “Allen deserves capital punishment because he was already serving a life sentence for murder when he masterminded the murders of three innocent young people and conspired to attack the heart of our criminal justice system,” state prosecutor Ward Campbell said. Allen raised two claims never before endorsed by the high court: that executing a frail old man would violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and that the 23 years he spent on Death Row were unconstitutionally cruel. Allen is legally blind, nearly deaf and uses a wheelchair to get around. His heart stopped in September, but doctors revived him and returned him to San Quentin Prison’s Death Row. Allen requested a do-not-resuscitate order if he had any health problems before the execution, prison spokesman Eric Messick said. “These infirmities are not simply the result of the passage of time or of old age, as some would suggest, but result from prison authorities’ deliberate neglect of his medical needs while in the state’s custody,” said Annette Carnegie, one of Allen’s attorneys. Allen was to become California’s 13th condemned inmate executed since state lawmakers restored capital punishment in 1977 and the third in the last 12 months. The U.S. Supreme Court has said it is cruel and unusual to execute inmates who killed when they were juveniles, the mentally retarded, and those who are so mentally incompetent they do not understand their punishment. But the court has never set an upper age limit for executions or created an exception for physical illness. Justice Stephen Breyer, who in 2002 expressed an interest in deciding whether a long stay on Death Row was unconstitutionally cruel, was the lone dissenter in Allen’s case. “Petitioner is 76 years old, blind, suffers from diabetes and is confined to a wheelchair, and has been on Death Row for 23 years,” Breyer wrote. “I believe that in the circumstances he raises a significant question as to whether his execution would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.” The high court upheld a Sunday decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which concluded that Allen’s age and illness were not grounds for being spared. The San Francisco-based appeals court also said Allen waited too long to address the longevity question. The court insisted Allen should have filed such a claim years ago, not on the eve of his execution – a decision left intact by the Supreme Court. His case generated far less publicity than last month’s execution of Crips co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams, whose case set off a nationwide debate over the possibility of redemption on Death Row, with Hollywood stars and capital punishment foes arguing that Williams had made amends by writing children’s books about the dangers of gangs. There were only about 200 people gathered outside the prison gates before the execution, about one-tenth of the crowd that came out last month for Williams. A large sound system played rap and light rock music as the small crowd milled about. Allen’s final meal was white-meat chicken from KFC, a buffalo steak, whole milk, sugar-free pecan pie and black walnut ice cream. “He described today as a good day and said he had a good time visiting with his family,” Messick said. Allen went to prison for having his teenage son’s 17-year-old girlfriend murdered for fear she would tell police about a Fresno market burglary. While behind bars in 1980, he directed a hit man to kill seven witnesses, including Bryon Schletewitz, whose family owned Fran’s Market. Schletewitz and two clerks – Douglas Scott White and Josephine Rocha – were slain. Two others in the market were injured. The killings landed Allen and hit man Billy Ray Hamilton on Death Row. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN QUENTIN, Calif. – California executed its oldest condemned inmate early today for arranging a triple murder 25 years ago to silence witnesses in another killing. Clarence Ray Allen was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 12:38 a.m. at San Quentin State Prison, less than an hour after his 76th birthday ended at midnight. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Allen’s final appeal Monday. Allen was had been jailed for a triple murder he ordered from behind bars 25 years ago to silence witnesses to another killing. last_img read more