Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Candy Barr: America's First Porn Princess

Unlawful Arrest; Unfair Sentence

The trial of Candy Barr was a spectacle, with men elbowing their way into the courtroom to ogle the stripper.

Candy Barr
Candy Barr

The Morning News reported one day, "The courtroom was again crowded with spectators, 75 percent of them men."

Under Texas' draconian "Reefer Madness" laws, Candy faced up to life in prison for the handful of marijuana. She did not testify in the weeklong trial. The jury of 11 men and one woman deliberated nearly three hours before returning a guilty verdict.

Prosecutor James Allen argued for a 25-year sentence. She got off easy. The jury sent her away for just 15 years.

Candy's head fell toward the defense table when she heard the verdict.

She stood and tried to read a protest statement to the jurors, but she lapsed into tears when the judge tried to cut her off.

Later, she told reporters, "It was an unfair verdict, but my spirit is not broken. At least we showed what the police department is doing."

She added that jurors "made up their minds before the trial started."

Some years later, a Dallas police official opined that Candy had been convicted because of her occupation. He said the 11 men on the jury would have been mortified to go home to face their wives after acquitting her.

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