Monday, April 11, 2011

The Impending Execution of the Repulsive Clarence Carter

Clarence Carter is waiting on Ohio's death row waiting to be executed on 12 April 2011 for the murder of Johnny Allen (no relation). There is no dispute that Carter beat, kick, and stomped fellow inmate Allen to death. Carter claims self defense.

From the clemency hearing for Clarence Carter, I offer the lurid details with my comments in italics.
In December 1988, Clarence Carter, defendant-appellant, and Johnny Allen were inmates in Range "E" at the Jail Annex to the Hamilton County Courthouse. Allen was being held on a theft offense. Carter had been found guilty of aggravated murder on December 9, 1988, and was awaiting sentencing. On December 28, Carter struck and kicked Allen numerous times over a twenty to twenty-five minute period, necessitating Allen's hospitalization. On January 5, 1989, Carter was sentenced to life imprisonment for the prior aggravated murder. On January 11, 1989, Allen died as a result of Carter's assault.
[So let's see. Nineteen days after being convicted of murder, while still in jail, Carter beats, kicks, and stomps Johnny Allen to death. I presume he had a good reason rather than simply a bad temper.]
Inmate Joseph Carroll testified that he and Allen were watching television on a mid-December evening when Carter came in and switched channels. Allen said to Carter, "Don't we vote on this?" Without saying anything, Carter punched Allen in the eye, then resumed watching television. Allen left to clean up the blood flowing from a cut above his eyebrow. Inmates Calvin Johnson and Phillip Brewer confirm that Allen and Carter exchanged words, and that Carter struck Allen. However, Johnson and Brewer assert that Carter was watching TV, and Allen changed the channel. Allen did not report this incident to jail authorities.
[Okay. It was over a TV incident. Allen's supporters argue with Carter's supporters over who violated the TV rules, but everyone agrees that Carter punch Allen in the eye.]
Carroll further testified that about a week before December 28, Carter found a broken metal spoon handle in a hole in the shower ceiling. After a brief discussion with Brewer, Carter returned the handle to its hiding place.
On December 28, after lunch, Johnson saw Carter retrieve the metal handle from the shower ceiling. Johnson asked Carter what he was going to do. Carter did not reply. About ten minutes later, around 1:10 p.m., the confrontation which led to Allen's death began in "E" range, a common area into which approximately twelve cells open.

According to Carroll, Allen was in his cell when Carter told him it was his tum to sweep the floor. As Allen walked past Carter to get a broom, Carter "jumped on him, punched him, [and] knocked him down." As Allen lay on the floor, Carter "leaned over him, punched him, kicked him and choked him."
[I guess I hadn't mentioned previously that Carter also choked Allen. I suspect though that Carter just reacted to an ugly situation, that there was no premeditation involved. I'll bet as soon as Carter got just a moment to compose himself and think about his actions, he would realize that he should use his words, not his fists and feet.]
Several times during the assault Carter stopped and walked away before returning to the attack.
Twice he used a mop to wipe blood off his tennis shoes.
[Double oops.]
During the assault Carroll said to Carter, "[d]amn C.C., you don't like him, do you." Carter replied "no," and went "back down to where Johnny Allen was, punched him, kicked him some more, stomped on him."
[He's making it somewhat more difficult to suggest there was no pre-meditation.]
After the second beating, Allen managed to get up and sit on a bench, but Carter came back, knocked him off the bench, and continued to kick and choke Allen. Allen never threw a punch or provoked Carter.
[I'm starting to think that maybe Carter did have time to meditate in between beatings, and stompings, and kickings, and chokings.]
Inmate Calvin Steele described Carter's initial blow to Allen as a "sucker punch," delivered suddenly and without warning. Carter struck Allen ten or fifteen times. Allen never struck or attempted to strike a blow at Carter. At one point, Carter returned to his cell and stuck his own leg with some kind of object; he then came back and stomped on Allen's head with his foot. Carter's assault on Allen lasted twenty or twenty-five minutes. When Steele asked Carter to stop, Carter told Steele to "[g]et my ass back downstairs." (Steele was standing outside the range in the "bull run," the guard's access way.)
Richard Cunningham saw Carter hit Allen four or five times, then choke Allen, who lay on the floor. As he was beating Allen, Carter said, "[t]hat m ..... f.... tried to stab me." Carter seemed to be in a rage, but appeared to know what he was doing.
[I think when they typed "m....f...." they meant "motherfucker." Why do we, as a society, get the vapors when faced with a vulgar quotation, but have no compunction about sticking a needle in someone's arm and pushing lethal drugs?]
Cunningham testified that "Carter started kicking him [Allen] down the range by his head, and by his ribs, and he was pulling his head in my bars and stomping his head like a pop can on the floor. And his head was bouncing up off the floor. Blood was everywhere. Guys was on the range saying: Come on, CC, you are going to kill the man. Quit. Leave him alone. Carter wouldn't let up. He kept on doing it and doing it, he wouldn't quit."

Carter claimed that Allen assaulted him with the shank and that he, Carter, merely defended himself, being carried away with rage. According to inmate Robert Chapman, a defense witness, the fight began when Allen, holding the metal spoon handle, began hitting Carter. However, Chapman acknowledged that he previously told investigators he was asleep. Howard "Tub" Bums, a high school friend of Carter, heard Carter yell, "Tub, get the police."

Brewer said he saw Carter and Allen arguing on December 28, and Allen was holding some kind of metal object in his hand. After a few seconds, Brewer returned to his cell. He explained, "[i]n a place like that you mind your own business, and that's what I was doing."

Around 1:30 p.m., sheriffs deputies heard unusual noises, like an object being banged against steel bars, and went to investigate.
[Nice work on the deputies' part. The fight had been going on for twenty minutes before the guards even heard anything. That object they finally heard being banged against steel bars was apparently Allen's pulpy head. The State incarcerated him for theft. They had a responsibility to protect him. The penalty was supposed to be time behind bars, not oblivion beneath six feet of dirt. That sucks.]
When they arrived at "E" range, they found Allen lying face down on the floor, in a pool of blood. Deputy Raymond J. Loebker saw Carter drop the shank. Loebker described Carter as sweating, breathing heavily, but without any visible signs of injury. Sheriffs Lieutenant John Douglas saw the metal handle on the floor, four feet from Allen, and retrieved it for later examination.

[Several paragraphs from the clemency summary not included here.]
According to Doctor Harry J. Bonnell, Chief Deputy Coroner, Allen's heart and breathing stopped on January 10th, but doctors revived him. A January 11th examination revealed that Allen was brain dead. Doctors then disconnected life support systems.
[After everything I read prior to this, this next bit was the one that hit me hard.]
Dr. Bonnell performed an autopsy on January 12th. Allen was 5' 10", and weighed 122 lbs.
[Way to go, Ohio.]
Clarence Carter
Maybe Ohio should do away with the needle and simply trick death row inmates into changing the TV channel right in front of Clarence Carter.

Now on to my boilerplate.

I oppose the execution of people who might be factually innocent of the crime for which they are to die. I suspect that to prevent the execution of the factually innocent, we might have to ban the death penalty entirely.

I find no evidence that Clarence Carter did not punch, kick, stomp, and choke Johnny Allen to death. I find his claims of self-defense to be absurd. Since I limit my efforts to those people who may be in all respects factually innocent, I stand mute with regard to the execution of Clarence Carter.


Anonymous said...

The right to judge Clarence Carter or any other human belongs exclusively to Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Clarence Carter is in the arms of Jesus now, he was forgiven by Jesus Christ, I know because our pastor and good friend of Clarence had went to visit him before his death, we will hear his testimony on tape at church in the morning, God can forgive, he knows he deserved to die, but God is merciful to forgive, even the worst of sinners..

Anonymous said...

to describe clarence carter as a human being is a little hard to take in ,may he rot in hell

Anonymous said...

Wow ... I hate to say it but I was there when he hit him in the eye the first time. I rode out the morning he killed him at about 4:00am. When I got to Orientation (that time was in Mansfield, OH) I was told what happened. I wasn't surprised but was very sad. Clarence or as we called him CC was so nice to everyone in the block we shared except Allen. To this day I don't know why. I weep for both individuals.

tsj said...

Good luck making it on the outside.

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