Billie Allen has been on federal death row in the US for well over half his life. Sentenced to death in 1998 at just 19 years old, Billie has now spent a total of 25 years in prison, despite racial bias affecting his case and a lack of evidence linking him to the crime.

He is one of two Black men sentenced to death in 1998 for the murder of an armed security guard. The judge, legal teams and all but two jurors were white, even though the crime occurred in St. Louis where the Black population is around 46% of the total population. Billie Allen’s lawyers have long sought DNA testing of evidence, which they say could show Billie is not guilty, but for years the government has refused this.

Billie’s death sentence has been defended under five Presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and now Joe Biden.
More than 40 men remain on federal death row today. President Biden promised to work to eliminate the death penalty at the federal level — but his administration is yet to take any action.

Call on President Biden to use his constitutional authority to commute the death sentence of Billie Allen and all others on federal death row.

Sign the Petition

  Our Petition

President Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden,

We welcomed the abolitionist pledge you made before taking office but am concerned at the lack of decisive action in the past two years to make that promise a reality. Indeed, your administration’s defense of federal death sentences – opposing relief and moving individuals closer to execution – is reason to question its commitment to your pledge.

More than 40 men remain on federal death row. One of them is Billie Allen, 19 years old at the time of the crime. He is now 45.  His case illustrates the sort of racial and geographic biases which have long been of concern about the death penalty in the USA.  

We do not seek to minimize the seriousness of violent crime or to downplay its consequences on individuals, their families, and the wider community. However, we believe the death penalty is a symptom of violence not a solution to it and expands the grief and suffering of relatives and loved ones of murder victims to those of the condemned. 

International law requires governments to ensure abolition of the death penalty within a reasonable timeframe.  Nearly half a century after the USA resumed judicial killing, it is falling far short of this responsibility. 

Please meet your abolitionist pledge. As an immediate first step, we urge you to use your constitutional authority to commute the death sentences of Billie Allen and all others on federal death row. 

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]