Oz 34
James Robson is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, portrayed by R.E. Rodgers.

Character Summary

Prisoner #97R492. Convicted November 7, 1997 - Murder in the first degree, assault. Sentence: Life imprisonment, eligible for parole in 25 years.

A sadistic racist, Robson is imprisoned for murdering a black man whom he saw walking home with his wife/girlfriend. In Oz, Robson acts as Vernon Schillinger's main lieutenant and is one of the most savage members of the Aryan Brotherhood. He is highly regarded by Schillinger until after a dental operation, the dentist tells Robson that he had implanted the gums of an African-American into Robson's mouth. Once word gets around, Schillinger casts Robson out of the Brotherhood even though Robson rips the skin grafts out of his mouth. This dental operation results in Robson to become completely unhinged, which worsens when he lets himself be raped (in order to get protection from the rapist) and contracts HIV.

Along with Shirley Bellinger and Moses Deyell, Robson is the other regular character that never lived in Emerald City.

Plot Summary

Season 2

In 1997, Robson is forced to bunk with his current cellmate as well as Tobias Beecher and Bob Rebadow, since Emerald City had transferred all of its inmates over to his cellblock after the riot. The whole prison is now under lockdown until things settle down, but until then, the cellblock is overcrowded. Robson tries to force Beecher to perform oral sex on him, but Beecher turns the tables on him by biting off the tip of his penis.

Season 3

Robson reappears, this time as a full-fledged member of the Aryan Brotherhood inside of Oz. He serves little purpose in season 3 other than following Schillinger's schemes and encouraging him to do whatever he needs to do to maintain the power of the Brotherhood. He also participates in Oz's boxing tournament, as the Aryans' representative. He would face Cyril O'Reily, but unbeknownst to him, Cyril's older brother Ryan had spiked Robson's drinking water with Chloral Hydrate (stolen and smuggled from the prison hospital) to make sure Cyril wouldn't lose. Robson, incapacitated by the drug, loses the fight.

Season 4

For the first half of the season, Robson is mainly seen as a supporter of Schillinger and the rest of his Aryan brothers, aiding in whatever plot he could. In the latter half, however, he slowly evolves into a more significant character. When Schillinger begins to spend more time with Christian leader Jeremiah Cloutier, Robson temporarily runs the Aryan Brotherhood's business, gradually becoming disenchanted with his former mentor. He is thrown into the isolation unit after getting in a fight over a racist joke that the Muslims overheard. Robson blames Muslim leader Kareem Said, and forms an alliance with black inmate Leroy Tidd, who also hated Said for killing his friend, Simon Adebisi. The two plots to kill Said. Tidd shams converting to Islam to get close to Said. However, when Tidd's conversion became genuine, he pulls out of the plan. Robson then bullies a younger inmate named Carl Jenkins into killing Said by promising to initiate him into the Brotherhood, as well as threatening to sell him as a sex slave, i.e. a prag, to the Black inmates if he fails. Jenkins kills Tidd instead when Tidd protects Said, and is thrown into solitary confinement. Cloutier, on Said's behalf, approaches Jenkins and convinces him to give up Robson as the man who ordered the murder. Jenkins does so, but later commits suicide for fear of the Aryans' retaliation. Thus, prison authorities have no testimony against Robson; he is released from solitary and cleared of the charge. He then enrages Said by taunting him about the deaths of Tidd and Jenkins. Said beats Robson unconscious, further escalating the war between the Aryans and the Muslims. By this time, Schillinger has resumed running the Brotherhood, much to Robson's relief. The war worsens when the Muslims protect Beecher, Schillinger's longtime enemy, when he comes up for parole. When Robson and Schillinger taunt Beecher for losing his parole, Said shanks both of them. They both end up in the hospital with severe stab wounds and deepened rancor toward Beecher and Said.

Season 5

Both Robson and Schillinger return to Oz after recovering from their wounds, ready to take revenge. The war is put on hold, however, when Schillinger participates in interaction sessions with Said, Beecher, and Sister Peter Marie to help prevent more violence. When Schillinger finds out that Chucky Pancamo, leader of the Sicilians, had his son Hank killed, he goes after them, and Robson himself shanks Pancamo, putting him in the hospital. Later Peter Schibetta makes an unsuccessful attempt on Schillinger's life, and is raped by Robson, Schillinger, and a third Aryan, who berate him with ethnic slurs and Schibetta's previous rape by Adebisi.

Soon afterward, two new white inmates, Franklin Winthrop and Adam Guenzel, arrive in Oz serving time for the rape of a college friend. They are young and weak and the Aryans used this weakness to their advantage. In Unit B, the Aryans save Winthrop from an overweight black inmate named Clarence Seroy who tries to rape him — only to keep him as their sexual slave. After parading Winthrop in drag, Robson tells Beecher he would rape Guenzel (whose family are friends with Beecher). Beecher then enlists the Italians to protect Guenzel. In the gym, Robson tries to rape Guenzel, but Frank Urbano defends him and puts Robson in the hospital. Schillinger manipulates Guenzel into turning against Beecher, who then retracts his protection. Robson then kills a young Muslim named Ahmad Lalar with the help of another Aryan inmate.

When Robson visits the infirmary, prison dentist Dr. Tariq Faraj tells him that he has gum disease and needs new gums grafted from a cavader. Robson hurls racial slurs at the Middle Eastern dentist, but agrees to the surgery. After the surgery, however Faraj takes revenge by telling Robson that his new gums are of a black man. Panicked, Robson asks Schillinger for advice, and Schillinger confers with the outside leader of the Aryan nations. The two leaders conclude that if in fact Robson received these gums then he is to be cast out of the gang. Faraj secretly pays black inmate Arnold "Poet" Jackson to spread the word about Robson's gums, which are in fact those of a black man. In the cafeteria, Poet and Ryan O'Reilly, who hate Robson, announce to the entire prison population that Robson has "dirty ghetto gums." Furious, Robson demands to know whose gums were put in his mouth and attacks Faraj, but the guards take him to the isolation ward. After he is released, the rest of the Aryans abandon him. Desperate to get back in, he buys heroin to use as an anaesthetic in an attempt to personally remove his new gums with a razorblade. The heroin turns out to be woefully inadequate as a painkiller, with Robson being almost immediately overcome with severe pain and bringing guards to his cell with his loud screams. After being thrown in solitary, Robson is next seen with the gums fully attached.

Season 6

In the final season of Oz, Pancamo recovers from the shank wound Robson gave him and is released from the infirmary. With no allies to back him up, Robson is now in very grave danger from the rest of the Italians. When he asks for protection, the Aryans refuse - all except for Wolfgang Cutler, who says he would only protect Robson in return for Robson becoming his sex slave. After a talk with Sister Pete, Robson reveals that he was raped by his father when he was six years old, and asks if it was ok to do "anything" as long as it was necessary to survive. After the talk, Robson accepts Cutler's offer, and who immediately sodomizes him with a dessert spoon. Cutler then forces him to dress in drag, perform bizarre sexual favors, and be a complete slave to his new master. In return, Cutler keeps up his end of the bargain and defends Robson from Pancamo. Pancamo and the Italians then offer Robson a deal: they would call a truce and become his allies if he kills Cutler. Robson persuades Cutler to try auto-eroticasphyxiation and tells Sister Pete that Cutler is suicidal. The next morning reveals Robson in the cell with Cutler's body, which is hanging by a noose tied to the bunkbed. The authorities rule Cutler's death a suicide.

Robson is allowed to re-enter the Brotherhood and now is free of his "master" and from danger by the Italians, but his rape still haunts him. During a visit with his wife, he violently manhandles her to the point where she called him a "cocksucker." Angered, Robson assaults her and ends up in the hole. Remorseful, he goes to psychotherapy sessions and a rape support group. At the support group meeting, he learns from the other inmates, who all finish their stories of being violated with the phrase "I had no choice." He briefly recovers his equilibrium, but soon learns that he is HIV-positive. Department of Corrections standards mandates that he had to be transferred to Unit E, the AIDS ward. Before he goes, he thanks the support group for helping him through the trauma and says that he initially blamed Cutler for his diagnosis, but because he had unprotected sex before, he blames himself and accepts responsibility.

In the extended version of "Exeunt Omnes", Oz's last episode, Robson is shown once again letting himself get raped, this time by black inmate Clarence Seroy (as Robson knows his HIV virus will be transferred to the rapist). He then tells Schillinger that he will be transferred to the AIDS ward. As Seroy walks by them, he tells Schillinger that he raped Robson. Schillinger, disgusted that Robson let a black man rape him, tells Robson that he is out of the Brotherhood for good, with Robson saying that he doesn't care and that not all of the inmates living in the AIDS ward are gay. Robson then tells Seroy that he (Seroy) better get a blood test because he might be HIV-positive. Mad, Seroy punches Robson before he is being taken away by the COs. Robson then delightfully taunts a terrified Schillinger with blood and says that he has never seen Vern afraid of blood before. Later on, he is transferred out of Oz on a bus when the prison becomes infected with an unknown contaminant (meanwhile, Seroy learns he was infected with HIV due to raping Robson).

Murders committed by Robson

  • Unnamed Man: Stabbed to death. (1997)
  • Ahmad Lalar: Slashed to death. (2002)

Murders connected to Robson

Deaths connected to Robson

  • Eli Zabitz: Died of a heart attack after realizing that both Keller and Robson were going to kill him. (2000)
  • Wolfgang Cutler: Caused his death by convincing him to try autoerotic asphyxiation, in a deal he made with Chucky Pancamo. (2003)