From the files of the Shawshank Redemption comes the following story. After 35 years in prison for stealing a black-and-white television set, Junior Allen is a free man.
Allen was a 30-year-old migrant farm worker from Georgia with a criminal history that included burglaries and a violent assault when he sneaked into an unlocked house and stole a 19-inch black-and-white television worth $140.
Some state records say Allen roughed up the 87-year-old woman who lived there, but he was not convicted of assault.
Instead, he was sentenced in 1970 to life in prison for second-degree burglary. The penalty for the offense has since been changed to a maximum of three years in prison.
Allen, 65, walked out of prison Friday, ending a case that attracted widespread attention because he remained in jail while other inmates convicted of murder, rape or child molestation were released.
As long as it wasn’t me I guess I could joke about it.
“For a black-and-white TV, how much do you have to pay?” Hasberry said. “We’ve got an in-house joke here: How much time would he have gotten if he had stolen a color TV?”
Allen, I beg of you. Stay away, far away from the Plasma TV’s.