Mass Incarceration

Comic Jeff Ross Jail Roast at Center of Supreme Court Death-Row Appeal

  • A Comedy Central roast is on the coronary heart of a death-row enchantment heading to the US Supreme Court docket.
  • 2015 footage of Jeff Ross roasting Texas jail inmates was used at a homicide convict’s sentencing.
  • The inmate’s legal professionals say the footage should not have been used and influenced the sentencing.

A Texas man going through the demise penalty is saying {that a} Comedy Central roast carried out at his jail unfairly influenced his sentencing.

Footage from the comic Jeff Ross is on the heart of an enchantment introduced by the convicted assassin Gabriel Corridor, scheduled to be heard by the US Supreme Court docket in January.

Hall was convicted in 2015 of homicide within the 2011 killing of Ed Shaar, an older Navy veteran, and the stabbing of his spouse, Linda. Corridor was 18 on the time of the crime.

According to court papers seen by Insider, Corridor was awaiting trial at Brazos County Detention Middle in 2015 when Ross and his movie crew have been allowed in to movie a roast of the inmates, together with Corridor.

The present was later launched as “Jeff Ross Roasts Criminals: Live at Brazos County Jail.”

Whereas Corridor’s footage by no means made it into the ultimate minimize, according to Rolling Stone, the state subpoenaed Comedy Central for his scenes and included them as a part of its proof in Corridor’s sentencing, courtroom papers say. He was given the demise penalty. 

At present, Corridor’s legal professionals, led by Robert C. Owen, say the footage was unfairly obtained as a result of they’d earlier issued a “no contact” letter to the jail, barring anybody from approaching Corridor with out their permission.

That footage, they are saying, was central to procuring Corridor’s demise sentence. 

Corridor’s legal professionals mentioned he “jokily tried to play alongside” with a dialog during which he appeared to make gentle of his offense. He made a pun on the phrase “hacking” to explain his crime.

They wrote that it confirmed “an expert comedian consciously working to impress a response from an unwary topic — aggressively pushing [Hall] to make ‘outrageous’ statements to which Ross provided ‘wild’ or scandalous rejoinders — to maximise the video’s industrial worth as leisure.”

In it, in keeping with the enchantment, Ross repeatedly tells Corridor to be extra jovial and says he looks as if a “scary dude.”

Ross additionally made a number of racially offensive feedback, nicknaming Corridor — whose heritage is Asian — “Slim Sushi,” the legal professionals mentioned.

Finally, Corridor’s legal professionals wrote, Corridor “comes off as a self-centered oddball” due to the footage.

Ross additionally made what Corridor’s legal professionals known as “hostile and dehumanizing statements” about jail, with the comic saying it was like “summer time camp.”

Comedian Jeff Ross talks to Conan O'Brien in 2015 about his Comedy Central roast of jail inmates.

Ross talks to Conan O’Brien in 2015 about his Comedy Central roast of jail inmates.


The state mentioned in its rebuttal that Corridor voluntarily agreed to speak to Ross and that he later signed a launch type.

However Corridor’s legal professionals mentioned this contravened his “no contact” order and was carried out with out prior authorized recommendation, in the end arguing it violated Corridor’s Sixth Modification rights. 

The state additionally mentioned it was a small, noncentral a part of a quantity of proof introduced to the sentencing jurywhich additionally heard what it described because the “most stunning” components of Corridor’s authentic confession.

In response to the state, Corridor instructed police he ignored his sufferer Linda Shaar — who makes use of a wheelchair — who pleaded for mercy when he stabbed her within the neck. She survived the assault. 

Each Linda and Ed Shaar have been strangers to Corridor, who nonetheless deliberate their homicide for greater than a 12 months, the state’s counsel mentioned.

Corridor’s protection legal professionals mentioned he had skilled in depth childhood trauma, impoverishment, and, later, PTSD, which the state challenged.

Neither Ross nor Comedy Central responded to a request for touch upon the case. 

Speaking with Conan O’Brien in regards to the episode basically in 2015, Ross mentioned he supposed to “put a human face on the inmate in America” via the undertaking.

In response to Rolling Stone, the completed present included statistics about mass incarceration within the US and had him speaking about his perception in second possibilities.

“Ninety % of the individuals in jail proper now are popping out sometime,” he mentioned. “So it’s important to give them some hope, give them some laughs. Now we have to humanize criminals. We deal with them like mud.”

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