Here we have included random articles and items relating to Randy's case...Unfortunately, it is Randy's personality that has seemed to be on trial, instead of the focus being on the actual evidence that he was NOT a shooter in the Oshman's robbery.
You will also see here a letter from one of Randy's former attorneys, David L. Richards, who at one time was a Judge, and is currently a prosecutor in Tarrant County - he believes that Randy should NOT be on death row. On the flip side of this opinion is an editorial piece written by one of Randy's former teachers at the boarding school he attended in Kentucky, and below these documents, you will see a counter-piece that Randy has written in response to Michael Spencer's Editorial, which is a much more balanced view.
Randy's Counter-Piece to Mr Michael Spencer's Editorial
When I first read this editorial by Michael Spencer, the Chaplain and Bible Studies teacher at Oneida Baptist Institute (the school I attended for the majority of my teenage years) I was completely shocked. This piece felt like yet another person's attempt to gain a little attention by saying they 'knew' me, which seemed all too fashionable at the time of the escape. In actual fact, Mr Spencer barely knew me - he was much better acquainted with my brother, as he was his chess team coach, and I knew Mr Spencer only in passing.
That said, some of what he said in the article is true...I did spend a lot of time with my girlfriend of the time, when we were both in the tenth grade - not the ninth. And I did go through a confused religious stage at one point, after being subjected to continuous proclamations that because I was Jewish, I was “going to hell”. The confusion did not last long though, and I quickly rejected the school's teaching of 'Christ'.
Mr Spencer further says that I did not get involved in any activities or sports, nor did I excel at anything. Again, this is incorrect. I played soccer in the summer school period, I was on the middleschool track and field team (where I threw the shot put), I won an award for the Most Outstanding Pianist, and I also won numerous 'Best Worker' awards. As well as all of that I was co-editor of my creative writing class magazine, I was on the Honour Roll several times, I volunteered for various functions, and occasionally helped out at the Guest House and the 'Friendship House', a place that gave away clothes to low income families who lived in the surrounding area. I was also training to be a lifeguard at the time I was expelled, and I studied very hard to earn the extra credits I needed to catch up with my class and ensure I would graduate with them in 1996.
Yes, I was a goofball, and I got into trouble several times for pranks; but I was never the type of person who got into trouble for the sake of getting into trouble. My problems began when I started to experiment with drugs, and the lack of guidance from my parents when it came to my impulsive behaviour.
Mr Spencer mentions the carving in the school bench, but he fails to go into any further detail...It was a poem I had written for my girlfriend which was misinterpreted as a suicide note – it definitely wasn't! What Mr Spencer also failed to mention was the disturbing fact that a CHRISTIAN school said they couldn't deal with me being 'suicidal', which resulted in my being expelled from the school.
What hurts the most about this piece is on one hand, he says he believes I was not a shooter, but because I was there at the scene, I'm just as guilty and therefore should be executed. This is a very un-Christian and judgemental attitude. On the other hand, he blames himself and the school for not doing enough to save me...Well, I am not the only kid from OBI that they threw to the wolves because the school couldn't deal with their problems. Don't get me wrong, I'm not angry or bitter, but it does make me shake my head in disbelief at their pseudo-piousness. I can only hope that their attitude is different now.
Finally, the article closes with Mr Spencer saying that he was going to write to me and tell me all of this...He never did.
The point of my response to this article is to show you, the reader, how easily people misinterpret or misunderstand things about my life, and the media just runs with it, verbatim, without conducting any actual research. But as we all know, there are two sides to every story.
Thank you for taking the time to read and form your own opinion on this.
Randy E. Halprin