Clarence Ray Allen
(January 16, 1930 – January 17, 2006) was an American murderer
who was executed by lethal injection
at San Quentin State Prison
for the murders of three people. At age 76 in 2006, he became the second-oldest inmate to be executed in the United States since 1976, after John B. Nixon
who was executed in December 2005 at age 77. His execution was the most recent one to take place in California.
Pro-death penalty activists cite Allen's actions as a reason to support capital punishment in the United States. He was already serving a life sentence for one murder when he was convicted of organizing the killing of three more people.
While in prison, Allen claimed Choctaw
heritage. He also claimed to be deaf, blind and severely disabled, requiring a wheelchair for mobility. He did not know any sign language
to communicate with hearing people. During his execution, he was able to walk from his wheelchair to the death podium unassisted. In addition, he appeared to be looking straight at his family prior to receiving the first dose of drugs during his lethal injection procedure. Allen had a confirmed advanced case of type 2 diabetes
, and he suffered a perhaps related heart attack
on September 2, 2005. His lawyers declared that "he presents absolutely no danger at this point, as incapacitated as he is. There's no legitimate state purpose served by executing him. It would be gratuitous punishment." They argued that his... Read More