James Were was sentenced to death by the State of Ohio for a prison murder. According to court documents James Were was involved in a prison riot (lucasville) that left a prison officer dead. James Were would be convicted and sentenced to death
James Were 2021 Information
Gender Male Race Black
Admission Date 04/15/1983
Institution Ohio State Penitentiary
James Were More News
On Easter Sunday, April 11, 1993, 450 Lucasville inmates, including an unlikely alliance of the prison gangs: Gangster Disciples, Black Muslims and the Aryan Brotherhood, rioted and took over the facility for 11 days. The prisoners’ main concerns were serious overcrowding and mismanagement of the facility and Muslim frustration stemming from mandated tuberculosis testing. In the Netflix documentary series Captive, inmate Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders) claims that Muslim prisoners refused the test because it contained phenol, and therefore went against Islamic restrictions concerning the handling and consumption of alcohol. Investigations conducted after the riot found that the gangs were also collaborating to murder inmates accused of being informants. One corrections officer and nine inmates were killed during the riot. Five inmates believed to have been informants were beaten to death at the start of the riot. Two inmates were repeatedly stabbed to death and a third had paper and plastic stuffed into his mouth before being strangled to death by cords.
During negotiations, the inmates did not feel they were being taken seriously and there was discussion of killing a corrections officer in retaliation. Though the group never reached a decision on the killing, one of the prisoners decided to act. According to the prosecution, Officer Robert Vallandingham, who had been taken hostage, was handcuffed and strangled with a dumbbell from the prison weight room. However, testimony by Dr. Richard Fardal, Franklin County Deputy Coroner, disputed the claim that Officer Vallandingham was killed by a weight, saying that there was “no injury to the voice box or the trachea” and that “Mr. Vallandingham died solely and exclusively as a result of ligature strangulation.” Testimonies vary as to which prisoner was responsible for his murder. During those 11 days, representatives from the Gangster Disciples, Black Muslims and Aryan Brotherhood, met every day in an improvised leadership council.
The riot eventually ended after 11 days on April 21. Prison officials agreed to review the prisoners’ complaints, which resulted in the prisoners’ surrender.
Communications issues experienced during the response to the riot contributed to the state’s decision to build an interoperable statewide radio system.