In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 21, 2005 / 19 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Knock, knock, knocking on hell's door

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Clarence Ray Allen provides the strongest argument I've seen for the death penalty. Allen is slated to be executed on Jan. 17. He ordered the death of several witnesses who had testified against him from prison while he was serving a sentence of life for the murder of another witness. As a result, three innocent people are dead. They've been dead for 25 years.

"This is probably the paradigm of a death-penalty case, in which really no lesser punishment would be appropriate," noted state Deputy Attorney General Ward Campbell last week.

The ugly saga starts in 1974. Allen owned a security company. According to court documents, he enlisted the help of his own son Roger and two employees to rob Fran's Market, a store east of Fresno owned by the Schletewitz family, whom Allen had known for years.

Roger Allen invited the Schletewitz son, Bryon, to a party. While Bryon was swimming, someone took his keys. The Allen gang robbed the store. Later, Roger's 17-year-old girlfriend, Mary Sue Kitts, confessed to Bryon that she helped cash money orders stolen from the market.

Bryon confronted Roger Allen and also confirmed that Kitts had told him what happened.

Clarence Ray Allen then ordered that Kitts be murdered. Between threatening phone calls from Allen, an accomplice strangled the poor girl. When Bryon learned Kitts was missing, he went to authorities.

After a 1977 trial, a jury convicted Allen of burglary, conspiracy and first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life.

In Folsom State Prison, Allen cooked up a scheme to kill the witnesses who testified against him so that he could appeal his conviction and then be freed because any witnesses were dead — or scared silent. After Allen's buddy, Billy Ray Hamilton, was paroled, Allen's other son supplied Hamilton with guns and ammo.

Accompanied by a girlfriend, Hamilton visited Fran's Market, brandished a sawed-off shotgun and led Bryon and other employees into the stockroom as he searched for a safe. As the Fresno Bee reported, Hamilton shot Bryon to death.

He killed Douglas White, 18. Then he shot a crying Josephine Rocha, 17, through the heart, lung and stomach.

"When you hear the details, it's hard," Teresa Daniele, Rocha's big sister, told me over the phone. Some 25 years later, "it's still very raw." Hamilton also shot a 17-year-old clerk, who was left for dead but miraculously survived, and a neighbor who heard the shotgun blasts and went to investigate. After being shot, the neighbor then shot Hamilton.

Days later, a wounded Hamilton was arrested while robbing a liquor store. Police found a list of names and information for eight people who had testified against Allen, including Bryon Schletewitz and his father, Ray Schletewitz.

In 1982, a jury convicted Allen and sentenced him to Death Row. (A jury also sent Hamilton to Death Row.) The evidence had been overwhelming. As U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote in a three-judge Ninth Circuit court decision that rejected Allen's appeal, the most damning evidence "came directly from Allen."

First, there was the list and the fact that Allen's son helped Hamilton. Then, there was the fact that Allen had been vocal in letting people know he would kill any "rat." As Wardlaw wrote: "By committing a capital crime while having already been maximally punished and while behind walls thought to protect society, Allen has proven that he is beyond redemption and that he will continue to pose a threat to society."

And: Allen "has shown himself more than capable of arranging murders from behind bars. If the death penalty is to serve any purpose at all, it is to prevent the very sort of murderous conduct for which Allen was convicted."

While Allen showed no mercy for his victims, the system has been quite kind to Allen. Three execution dates were set — then stayed. In September, Allen had a heart attack, then angioplasty. With his execution looming, he may yet have open-heart surgery.

Now, his attorney, Michael Satris, is using Allen's old age — which his victims failed to attain — and poor health as a reason to put off the execution. I kid you not. Satris argued: "Allen's health is too fragile for the setting of an execution date at this time because of the risk that the setting of a date and the procedures that will attend such will cause him to have a heart attack."

Meanwhile, the families of his victims are dying off. Allen has outlived Josephine's father, Joseph Rocha, and Douglas White's brother, George. I'm told that the Kitt parents are dead. Bryon's mother, Fran, died in 2002. His father wanted to witness Allen's execution, but died in March. Bryon's sister is the only surviving member of the family. She wants to see justice done.

If Allen is executed as scheduled, the sister, Patricia Pendergrass, told me, "there finally will be truth in sentencing, even though so many years have passed." She thinks of the "very vicious, cruel death" forced upon Bryon and Josephine and Douglas, and sees Allen's execution as infinitely kinder.

If the state can't execute a man who has killed innocent people from prison while serving a life sentence for murder, then no one is safe.

Except Clarence Ray Allen.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2005, Creators Syndicate