We hope you will take a moment to read up on Randy's case...
In 1997, at the age of 19, Randy Halprin pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the crime of Injury to a Child. Randy has always expressed grave remorse for this crime, and over the years he has deeply reflected on the events that led him to do something so terrible. We hope you will reserve any judgement of Randy until you have read his memoir, Falling Down, which is a very open and candid account of Randy's turbulent young life, and the breakdown of his relationship with his family which began in his late teens. You can read this memoir under the Memoirs tab.
Despite Randy's numerous efforts to reach out to his parents for help and guidance, he found himself very much alone. He went on to fall into a very poor set of circumstances, and further fell into a state of depression which led to this terrible crime.
On 13th December 2000, Randy, and six other inmates (labelled by the media as the 'Texas 7') escaped from the Connally Unit in South Texas. On 24th December 2000, the group carried out a robbery at an Oshman's Sporting Goods store in Irving, when regrettably, a Police officer who arrived at the scene was shot and killed.
Leading up to the night of the robbery, Randy continuously expressed his reluctance to co-operate, thus frustrating his co-defendants who eventually assigned him the role of ONLY grabbing clothing and supplies. In fact, as the night of the robbery drew nearer, Randy's co-defendants were so frustrated by his lack of co-operation and his unwillingness to take part in the robbery, two of his co-defendants spoke about his being "a nuisance" and how his [Halprin's] "death might be necessary". In the section below, headed Randy's Relationship With His Co-Defendants, you will find a link to a news article with more information on this.
As events played out on the night of the robbery, Randy neither pulled nor fired his gun (a gun he was forced to carry by his co-defendants - we've attached an extract of Randy's trial testimony to that effect, below). Randy was NOT one of the shooters, and he is NOT guilty of capital murder. Randy did not grow up around guns, and has never moved in circles where guns or gun culture were prevalent. None of Randy's friends or family members had ever carried or used guns, or weapons of any description either...Ergo, for someone like Randy, gunfire erupting around him was both a surreal and very frightening situation and he fled the scene on foot. In fact, he was so eager to distance himself from what was happening, he was shot in the foot as he fled the scene.
Following an intense manhunt, the men were later apprehended in Woodland Park, Colorado, in January 2001. Six of the men were captured; the seventh man, Larry Harper, committed suicide inside an RV which was surrounded by armed Police. Randy surrendered peacefully, prior to Harper's suicide.
All six men were charged with the Capital Murder of a Police Officer, and all six were sentenced to death under the controversial Texas Law of Parties. This law allows the State of Texas to execute everyone involved in the robbery, regardless of their role, and whether or not they were one of the shooters. You can read about the Law of Parties under the Law of Parties section.
On the night of the Oshman's robbery there were several shooters - Randy did NOT shoot or even pull a gun on that night, yet he still faces execution. Several of Randy's co-defendants have said in various accounts, statements, and signed affidavits, that he was NOT a shooter, and because they checked his gun thoroughly, it was handled by several different people. In conclusion, there were seven people involved in the robbery, but the State's own ballistics experts can only conclude that five guns were fired.
Some would say that if you commit a robbery with a loaded weapon, you should reasonably consider that someone could be killed - empirical evidence proves otherwise. In the FBI's own Uniform Crime Report less than 1% of ALL robberies ended with death in the year 2000. When a Police Officer is involved, that number is even lower.
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Randy's lawyers performed poorly during his trial and regularly missed opportunities to challenge the prosecutors on their various lines of questioning, and their interactions with certain witnesses. The Judge also sided with the prosecutors when they requested certain crucial evidence in Randy's favour be kept from the jury. There is no doubt that his lawyers were ineffective throughout, which allowed the joint efforts of the Judge and prosecutors to colour the jury's view of Randy, and his role in the robbery.
The court would also not allow the Jury to review a key and crucial document compiled by the FBI, and Texas Rangers, that clearly shows Randy was the least dangerous of his co-defendants - this document is referred to as the 'Ranking Order of the Texas 7', and a copy of this document can be found in the Ranking Order of the Texas 7 below.
Another key document which was never allowed to be shown to the Jury was an in-depth psychological evaluation prepared by Dr Kelly Goodness. This document contained details of several interviews with the family (biological mother, biological brother, and an aunt from his adoptive family), friends and other authorities in Randy's life, and is supported by adoption, school and other records and reports. The prosecutors insisted this document was 'hearsay' despite the numerous official documents supporting it, and Randy's lawyers failed to argue its necessity in providing the jury with a fair and whole picture of Randy. We've uploaded a copy of this document under Mitigating Evidence.
Various affidavits and sworn statements from Randy's both surviving (and now deceased) co-defendants, were also kept from the jury. These documents re-affirm the fact that Randy's gun was NEVER fired, and that Randy was NOT one of the shooters. His co-defendants also swore that had they been called to testify in his trial on these issues, they would have done so.
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More recently (May 2019) following a year long investigation conducted by Randy's lawyers, it was discovered that the Judge presiding over Randy's case - Judge Vickers Cunningham - harboured seriously offensive anti-Semitic beliefs, as well as racial bigotry. An extensive investigation carried out by Randy's lawyers uncovered evidence that this Judge directly referred to Randy as "the f****n' Jew" and a "g*******d k**e." You can find more details on this aspect of Randy's case, together with supporting documentation, in our Case Updates section.
In light of this new evidence, there is no doubt that Randy did NOT receive a fair trial. Whilst Randy acknowledges that he needs to be punished for his own crimes, he has consistently and truthfully maintained his innocence of capital murder for over 18 years. As far back as early 2001, following his capture in Colorado, Randy said in both a televised and printed interview with ABC News that neither he nor Patrick Murphy were shooters. In the time following, the State's own ballistics experts concluded that 5 guns had been fired. Randy has never strayed from the truth, nor altered his story in all of this time.
There are also several witness statements that back up and support Randy's version of events, and even the Police Detective who took the stand in Randy's trial, testified that Randy's story of how the events happened on that night, 'checks out.'
Randy is NOT a killer, and even the State of Texas concede this point...A quote taken from their Opposition Filing at the Supreme Court, says, "There is no physical evidence that points to Halprin as a shooter."
Randy Halprin is NOT a killer and his life should be spared.
We thank you sincerely for taking the time to read about Randy's case.
The Friends of Randy E. Halprin