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Murderer to be PTD tonight, profits from art

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Murderer to be PTD tonight, profits from art

Old 08-26-04, 01:28 PM
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Murderer to be PTD tonight, profits from art

http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/new...on/9396247.htm

Critics say condemned inmate capitalizing on killing

BY JOHN MORITZ

Knight Ridder Newspapers


AUSTIN, Texas - (KRT) - Two state agencies are investigating whether condemned inmate James Vernon Allridge is violating Texas law and prison policies by selling greeting cards and other artworks over the Internet.

Acting on complaints from crime-victim advocates, the Texas Attorney General's Office is reviewing whether Allridge's Web site, which features samples of his artwork and directions on how to order prints of his drawings of animals, flowers and landscapes, runs afoul of a 1997 statute that allows the state to seize the proceeds of those who profit from crimes.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is looking into whether Allridge's enterprise violates the ban on inmates running for-profit business from their cells.

"All I can say is that our Office of Inspector General is conducting an investigation of that activity," said Mike Viesca, prison spokesman.

Typically, Texas inmates can sell products made in prison craft shops - leather works like belts and cowboy boots or carpentry efforts like cedar chests and wood carvings. The proceeds are deposited in commissary accounts, with which inmates can purchase toiletries, snacks and other personal items.

But the head of the crime victims organization Justice For All said Allridge's Internet activity goes far beyond offering modestly priced arts and crafts. While many of his cards and drawings are sold for $10, prints of a large lion painting go for $465.

"The long and short of it is, it's blood money," said Dianne Clements, the group's president. "If James Allridge were not on Death Row, no one would be buying his so-called artwork. He's not an artist. He's a murderer who draws pictures."

Allridge is scheduled to be executed Aug. 26 for killing clerk Brian Clendennen, 21 - himself an aspiring artist - during a February 1985 robbery of a Circle K convenience store in Fort Worth, Texas. Allridge's lawyers are petitioning the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend that Gov. Rick Perry commute the sentence to life in prison based on his near blemish-free record on Death Row.

The petition, delivered to the six-member board Wednesday, contains samples of Allridge's drawings, along with statements from four jurors at his trial and several former prison workers who say that the inmate has been rehabilitated during his time in prison.

Allridge's lawyer, Jim Marcus of Houston, scoffed at the notion that Allridge was peddling so-called murderabilia.

"I have not been notified of any investigation into James' artwork," Marcus said. "But I do not think that the statute that prevents profiteering from one's crimes applies to James."

Marcus said the law targets "notorious" criminals who might seek to market personal artifacts or mementos from their crimes. His client is doing neither, Marcus said.

"James is not notorious," he said.

But Clements disagreed, saying that Allridge's works had caught the attention of actress Susan Sarandon, who last month visited the condemned man on Death Row in Livingston. Sarandon won an Oscar for her portrayal of Sister Helen Prejean, a Catholic nun who aids a condemned killer in the movie "Dead Man Walking."

"If he were not notorious, how does he attract the attention of someone like Susan Sarandon?" Clements said.

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Old 08-26-04, 01:29 PM
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http://www.kxan.com/Global/story.asp...1&nav=0s3dQH1p

Huntsville -- Final appeals are pending as convicted killer James Allridge faces execution Thursday night for a 1985 slaying in Fort Worth.

Allridge was condemned for killing a convenience store clerk during a robbery.

The victim was 21-year-old clerk Brian Clendennen.

Allridge would be the 12th Texas death row inmate to have his punishment carried out this year.

Allridge's supporters say he's been rehabilitated during his nearly two decades in prison, and they've sought to have his sentenced commuted to life behind bars.

But relatives of the victim say Clendennen didn't even have a chance at life.

Allridge spent some of his time on death row creating artwork sold on an Internet site. His work attracted the attention of actress Susan Sarandon, a death penalty opponent who visited Allridge last month.
Old 08-26-04, 01:35 PM
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[Bush] Excuse me for a minute, I got some executin to do [/Bush]
Old 08-26-04, 01:49 PM
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The Death Penalty is wrong, m'kay?

I don't see that he was making a profit from his crimes, although, I think that every penny he made other than for necessities should be going to the family of his victim.
Old 08-26-04, 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by Tsar Chasm
The Death Penalty is wrong, m'kay?

I don't see that he was making a profit from his crimes, although, I think that every penny he made other than for necessities should be going to the family of his victim.
They should sue him for wrongful death and get a judgment. Then they can get a lien against his income. I don't see the need to mess around with laws that single out particular kinds of crimes as rendering someone destitute for the rest of their life.
Old 08-27-04, 02:03 PM
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Just adding this to complete the story.

He didn't get a stay of execution this time like the other times.



State executes its 12th inmate this year

Items compiled from Tribune news services
Published August 27, 2004

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS -- A Death Row inmate whose case attracted the attention of celebrity capital punishment opponent Susan Sarandon was executed Thursday evening for killing a convenience store clerk.

James Allridge thanked his family and friends for loving him and expressed remorse.

"I am sorry, I really am," he said in a brief final statement. "I am sorry I destroyed y'all's life," he said looking at the family of his victim. Nine minutes after the lethal injection, he was pronounced dead.

Allridge, 41, was the 12th Texas inmate executed this year. He was convicted of killing Ft. Worth store clerk Brian Clendennen, 21, who was robbed of $300.

Sarandon visited Allridge last month, has purchased some of his prison-made artwork and for years corresponded with him.

Allridge's brother, Ronald, was also put to death, in 1995, for killing a woman during the robbery of a fast-food restaurant.

"My brother didn't even have a chance at life," Shane Clendennen said. "People who say the death penalty is wrong haven't gone through this. All I have is a picture and a gravesite."
Old 08-27-04, 02:06 PM
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Holy crap.. how do they extend the appeals process out to 19 years? This is more than a little stupid, I feel.

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