StandDown Texas Project

The StandDown Texas Project identifies and advocates best practices in the criminal justice system. To stand down is to go off duty temporarily, especially to review safety procedures. That is what Texas needs to do with its death penalty.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

New Voices Call for Clemency for James Allridge

James Allridge is scheduled to be executed by the state of Texas on August 26. Former prison guards and officials as well as jury members of Allridge's capital murder trial are calling on the Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend that his death sentence be commuted to life in prison.

Allridge has always taken responsibility for the senseless crime that took a young man's life. Inside the prison, he has tried to be a positive force to TDCJ employees and guards and counseled other inmates on how to live a positive life in prison.

This type of rehabilitation has historically been a reason for commuting death sentence. One of the essential elements a jury must find for a death sentence to be handed out in Texas is that the individual will represent a continuing threat -- a future danger -- to society. During his years in prison, James Allridge has proven that he is not a danger in prison.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles will make its recommendation later this month. Governor Rick Perry can only commute a sentence upon a positive recommendation by the Board, but he is not required to do so.

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