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Insult comic and frequent presence on the dais at celebrity roasts Jeff Ross may have inadvertently given a prison inmate the ultimate roast: a death sentence.
Now, that inmate’s lawyer is fighting back.
In 2015, Ross released a special called Jeff Ross Roasts Criminals: Live At Brazos County Jail. The special was a combination of a stand-up performance and a documentary, and Ross had been given special access to inmates, who were encouraged to participate in the special.
One of those inmates was Gabriel Hall. In his case, there was a problem: he hadn’t yet been convicted of the 2011 murder of Edwin Shaar. Hall was just an 18-year-old high school student when he entered the College Station, Texas home and attacked Shaar and his wife, Lisa. Edwin Shaar died in the incident, but Lisa Shaar survived.
Hall’s Attorney Says He Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed To Speak To Ross
Several years later, the Roast Master rolled into town. At the time, Hall was awaiting trial and his lawyers had submitted a “no contact” letter. This was intended to limit who could take to their client without consent from his attorneys. This was because Hall was “awaiting trial after being indicted on a high-profile capital murder charge.”
The prison ignored that request and allowed Ross to interview Hall.
Some of that interview was used in Hall’s capital murder case and led to his conviction.
During the penalty phase, prosecutors used Hall’s appearance against him, saying jokes he made showed “a lack of remorse for having committed capital murder.”
Ross himself has yet to comment on the Supreme Court petition filed by Hall’s lawyers.
I’m no legal scholar, but it seems like someone dropped the bag somewhere in Hall’s case. It’ll be interesting to see if the Supreme Court chooses to hear his case or if it’s too little, too late for Gabriel Hall.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle