How NV Death Row Inmate Shifted to Counseling Ex-Cons


James Allen, a former Nevada death row inmate, believes in redemption, to a degree, says the Las Vegas Review Journal. He’s still seeking it more than three decades after he shot and killed a man during a robbery. Since his 2008 parole, he has worked as a mentor coordinator for the Las Vegas Urban League, helping other ex-cons make it on the outside.

In 1980, Allen was a 19-year-old gang member. While burglarizing a home, he was surprised by a resident, who he shot to death. Now 52, Allen says he doesn’t recognize the person he was at the time of the killing. He speaks of his younger self with disgust, in the third person: “That kid was an idiot.” Now, he works for his agency’s Re-Entry of Ex-Offenders program, which provides intensive case management, job skills training, and other services. He acknowledges that legal technicalities and crafty lawyers are to thank for his freedom after 28 years in prison.

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