“Life in the Balance The Billy Wayne Sinclair Story” & “Capital Punishment: An Indictment by a Death Row Survivor”

One of America’s most famous prisoners, Billy Wayne Sinclair, a man known to many as a latter-day Robin Hood, tells an amazing story of Crime, Courage & Redemption.

Sentenced to death in 1965 at age twenty for an unpremeditated murder during the bungled holdup of a convenience store, Billy Wayne spent his first 7 prison years on death row. When the death penalty was abolished, his sentence was commuted. Serving a total of 40 years in the Louisiana prison system—20 years at the nation’s worst prison, Angola, Billy became a well educated advocate of prison reform.

Link to the full article



On the cold rainy night that Billy Sinclair attempted his first armed robbery, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1965, he was just another abused, reckless twenty-year-old punk. He had no intention of hurting anyone, he says, but as he fled from the Pak-A-Sak convenience store he shot and killed clerk James C. Bodden, who was chasing Sinclair with a broom raised over his head.

Link to the full article


Could Mr. WRONG Be Right for You? What if you met the man of your dreams, then found out he was a convicted murdered? Jodie Sinclair talks about finding true, lasting love in very dangerous liaison

In September 2004, Marie Claire published this story about Jodie Sinclair – the first time she saw the convict she married by proxy and her 25 year fight to free him after his conviction of felony murder, based on suppressed mitigating evidence. In “I married a murderer,” Jodie tells readers why she feels privileged to be his wife.   


Jodie Sinclair was a child of privilege. Lavish homes, foreign travel, the best private schools here and abroad — all were hers as the oldest daughter of Texas entrepreneur William Reynolds Archer, a man who, Life magazine claimed, possessed a “Midas touch.”

Groomed to be a “corporate wife,” her future seemed secure. Recommended Video But love knocked that expectation into a cocked hat. Today, Sinclair, 62, is a “prison wife,” the spouse of Billy Wayne Sinclair, a one-time death row inmate now serving a 90-year Louisiana sentence for killing a Baton Rouge convenience store owner during a botched robbery more than 30 years ago.

Link to the full article


Convict-Turned-Snitch Dodges Death and Enjoys His Dull Life. His life is in ruins, but Billy Wayne Sinclair is pleased that it also has become downright dull.
He has had enough ups and downs since the day they clamped shackles on his wrists and ankles 24 years ago and hauled him off to Angola State Prison to be executed.

But the big, rough-hewn electric chair where Sinclair was supposed to pay the penalty for murder didn’t get him.

Instead, the appeals process dragged on so long Sinclair wound up among hundreds of condemned men who lucked out when the U.S. Supreme Court decreed in 1972 that death penalty laws in effect at the time were unconstitutional.

Link to the full article


Billy Wayne Sinclair speaks with rare authority about interminable punishment for young men. Like the Johnsons, he had serious crime troubles as a teenager in Louisiana. In 1965, a few weeks after his 20th birthday, he shot and killed an attendant during a gas station holdup in Baton Rouge.

His death sentence was commuted to life in 1972, after the Supreme Court invalidated capital punishment. Sinclair found inspiration as a prison journalist while serving life. He and his wife, Jodie, spent decades fighting for his freedom. He was paroled 10 years ago, after 40 years locked up.

Link to full article


Death row survivor and wife write book, launch website. Jodie Sinclair is on the book trail again. And this time her husband, Billy Wayne, who spent 40 years in a Louisiana prison, including more than six on death row, is with her. Their new book is Capital Punishment An Indictment by a Death-Row Survivor

Billy polished his writing skills in prison while serving as co-editor of The Angolite, the prison newspaper which won several prestigious awards. “His idea of a good time is to rent a movie and stay home on Saturday nights in the recliner that he always wanted to purchase. So I now have a recliner in my home with my French antiques.” Jodie said.

Link to the full article