Criminal justice advocates, Pats player voice support for man who spent over 2 decades behind bars for murder

BROCKTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Criminal justice advocates including Patriots star Devin McCourty voiced their support for the commutation of William Allen who has spent more than two dozen years in prison.

When he was 20 years old, Allen was arrested and charged for his role in a 1994 armed robbery during which another man killed someone. Allen was later convicted of felony murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

But since then, supporters of his commutation say much has changed.

“In light of the fact that the law has since changed and if it were more recent conviction he wouldn’t face same sentence and the person who was the actual killer plead out and was released,” said ACLU attorney Rahsaan Hall.

“I’m here now cause I got to talk with William yesterday and I got to see just how good of a person he is,” McCourty told those assembled.

Allen’s own attorney, Kristine McDonald said he has changed too.

“He’s always held a job while incarcerated, he earned a master’s barber license, he’s mentored and tutored others,” she explained. “But, perhaps most significantly, he’s found purpose working with men behind bars with significant mental illness.”

The Massachusetts Parole Board has agreed to a June hearing on Allen’s petition for clemency.

The victim’s family will also be able to take part.

Allen’s supporters and family said he accepts responsibility for his actions but believes his sentence should be reduced.

“I feel like he deserves this, this is something that he really deserves,” his father Thurston Allen said.

McCourty will be holding a Zoom event next week where he will talk about commutations and Allen’s case.

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