Man released from prison after 35 years - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man released from prison after 35 years

May 31, 2005

Georgetown - Junior Allen spent more than half of his life behind the bars of a prison cell. Now, 65, he's a free man and adjusting to a life of freedom, one he believes he should have had many years sooner.

Allen, who once took cooking courses in prison, enjoys lunch with his sister, in his home, away from the bars of a cell. He says, "I decided I'll just rest up for about a week or so."

For the past 35 years, Junior has been locked up in a North Carolina prison. Junior says, "Claiming I stole a black and white TV, cost about $140 or something like that."

A claim he denies. "No, I didn't take the TV," he says. "I pleaded not guilty," but he was convicted nonetheless, and sentenced to life in prison. He says, "Give me a sentence that didn't go with the crime that I committed."

Junior's sister Faye Bell is happy her brother was finally released. She says, "I felt happy, I was very proud and happy." But neither understand why he was allowed to serve 35 years for second degree burglary, when molesters and even murderers have been released in less time. Junior says, "Well, that made me feel bad. People kept on getting time for committing crime badder than what I did and doing their time and leaving me there, and stuff like that, and made me feel real bad, you know."

But now, he has a different feeling about life. He says, "I feel good to see my family, oh yeah."

Junior admits he wasn't an exemplary prisoner. He was written up for being involved in several fights and that may have contributed to his time in prison. Regardless, he plans to sue the state of North Carolina for about $20 Million.

Junior Allen plans to find a job within the next few weeks. While in prison he took courses in masonry, welding, cooking and even barber school.

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