Death Row Inmates on MySpace

Posted on November 14, 2006

MySpaceThe Houston Chronicle is reporting that at least 30 Texas death row inmates have profiles on MySpace. These profiles aren't written directly by the inmates. Instead they are written by friends or family members on behalf on of the inmates.
They're prison inmates and many, including those on Texas' death row, have moved their cell-based ponderings from isolated anti-death penalty Internet pages to the popular social networking Web site favored by the younger set: MySpace.

At least 30 Texas death row inmates have MySpace pages created for them. On these personal pages they detail their likes and dislikes, just like anyone else.

"I think I'm a pretty funny guy. I have a wacked sense of humor," writes Randy Halprin, who was convicted in the 2000 shooting death of an Irving police officer. "I can be a big kid at heart. I'm a hopeless (and I mean HOPELESS) romatic (sic)."

To be clear, no Texas inmate has Internet access. Instead, inmates send letters, journal entries or blog postings to friends and families who create the pages for them and post their writings for them.

"This is not new," explained Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. "The reality is that for many years death row inmates have had family and friends on their case, on the Internet, oftentimes to get pen pals and in some cases raise money for the defense."
A local ABC affiliate has details about one of the MySpace profiles. Another news story says there has been a request from the crime victims office for Houston Mayor Bill White for MySpace to remove the profiles.